When a student begins full-time studies at a new school, the student’s SEVIS record must be transferred to that new school. This allows SEVIS and nonimmigrant students to maintain their original SEVIS ID and history. F-1 students may transfer their studies to another school during either one of two conditions:
- During an academic program.
- After completing an academic program and before starting a different degree program or level.
It is important to remember:
- Transfer process differs between F-1 and M-1 students.
- F-1 students may only transfer to another F-1 SEVIS-certified school.
- F-1 students must work with their designated school officials (DSOs) to begin the transfer process.
- SEVIS transfers all related F-2 dependents with the primary F-1 students.
If a SEVIS record meets requirements for transfer, DSOs may not refuse to transfer that SEVIS record for any reason.
This guide gives:
- SEVIS F-1 transfer process overview.
- Federal regulations and policy governing the F-1 transfer process.
- How a SEVIS transfer affects an F-1 student record.
This guide and process do not affect school policy or school-owned records.
(“Transfer From School” in SEVIS)
|The school that holds the student record, and after the student notifies the DSO of his/her wish to transfer, starts the transfer process.
(“Transfer To School” in SEVIS)
|The school that the student wants to attend in the future.
|Transfer Request Date
||The date the DSO at the transfer-out school enters the transfer request.
|Transfer Release Date
||The date the SEVIS record is deactivated at the transfer-out school and appears at the transfer-in school.
|Transfer Complete Date
||The date the transfer-in school registers the Initial transfer-in SEVIS record, and the student record changes to Active.
According to regulation, students must tell the DSO at the transfer-out school that they plan to transfer. As a best practice, F-1 students should provide the DSO with all of the following:
- Written confirmation of the acceptance to the new school.
- Written request/permission to begin the transfer.
- SEVIS school code for the transfer-in [transfer-to] school.
- Contact information for the new school’s DSO.
F-1 Transfer Guidance
DSOs can transfer F-1 students to another SEVP-certified school, if the conditions are met allowing the F-1 SEVIS transfer request; but if the conditions are not met, SEVIS will prevent an F-1 transfer request.
Conditions Allowing an F-1 SEVIS Transfer Request
DSOs may transfer an F-1 record to another SEVP-certified school when:
- Student’s SEVIS record is in one of the following statuses:
- Completed and Terminated records require a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reinstatement supported by the transfer-in school.
- The principal designated school official (PDSO) may transfer students who:
- Have just transferred-in.
- Whose draft SEVIS records have been created and changed to Initial status.
- Remain in Initial status.
- Student will start the new program with the first available session, which begins within five months of whichever following date is earlier:
- Transfer Release Date.
- Current program completion date in the SEVIS record.
- Student is on post-completion optional practical training (OPT), and will resume classes within five months of whichever following date is earlier:
- Transfer Release Date.
- Authorized OPT end date.
Conditions Preventing an F-1 SEVIS Transfer Request
SEVIS does not allow a DSO to transfer a record when:
- Student record has a:
- Requested change of education level.
- Requested or pending reinstatement.
- Existing transfer request.
- Transfer Release Date is more than six months from the current date.