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Manage Transfer of F-1 SEVIS Record

Last updated: March 23, 2020

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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 Terminology

Terminology Description
Transfer-Out School
(“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-In School 
(“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.

Icon - Best PracticeAccording 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:
    • Active
    • Completed
    • Terminated 

Exceptions:

  • 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.

Resources

Icon - Specific text within a document applies only to F-1 schools or studentsIcon - Regulatory or policy resourcesIcon - Additional information is available

Icon - Specific text within a document applies only to F-1 schools or studentsIcon - Regulatory or policy resourcesIcon - Additional information is available

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