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Complete Transfer of M-1 SEVIS Record

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Complete Transfer of M-1 SEVIS Record

Last updated: June 19, 2020

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When an M-1 student begins full-time studies at a new school, the student’s SEVIS record must be transferred to that new school, so the student’s original SEVIS ID and history is maintained in SEVIS.

This guide explains how to create the M-1 Transfer-Pending Certification of Eligibility (COE) (Form I-20) at the transfer-in school and describes the continued transfer process through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approval. 

Resources

Icon - Specific text within a document applies only to M-1 vocational/technical schools or students

Before starting the transfer-in process, always check the M-1 transfer regulations and other SEVP guidance.

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​Review final SEVP guidance documents SEVP Schools and Programs page under the Overview tab. Scroll down to the expandable Policy section: 

Icon - Additional information is available

For more information about the entire M-1 SEVIS record transfer process and timing, see:

Transfer Basics

The DSO at the transfer-out school sets the Transfer Release Date for an M-1 SEVIS record. That record will then appear on the Students Transferring In and the Draft Students lists at the transfer-in school. Once the transfer is requested:

  • Create I-20 option appears under the Action section on the Student Information page at the transfer-in school.
    • Transfer-in school may create the Transfer-pending COE (Form I-20) at any point after the Transfer Release Date is set (even before the Transfer Release Date has passed).
Icon - Pay attention to an important point

M-1 students may not transfer more than six months after holding M-1 status in United States, unless the students cannot remain at the original school due to conditions beyond their control.
Before the transfer is complete, the M-1 student must submit a transfer application to USCIS. (See Complete M-1 Transfer-in Process.) This application must include the:

  • Form I-539, fee, and supporting documents
  • Transfer-pending Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) from the transfer-in school

The student may, and is expected to, begin studies at the new school while the transfer application is pending with USCIS. The student is also required to notify the DSO of the transfer-in school immediately upon attending classes.

When creating a Transfer-pending COE (Form I-20) for the transfer student, the incoming student must have:

  • Maintained a “full course of study” at the previous school.
  • Met all standards for admission.
  • Been admitted into a “full course of study” at your school
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If the student record is in Terminated status after the Transfer-pending COE (Form I-20) is created, for the M-1 student to regain lawful status, the transfer-in DSO must first create a Reinstatement Request COE (Form I-20), and then the student must apply for reinstatement with USCIS.

 
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The M-1 Transfer-pending COE (Form I-20) has two pages in SEVIS:

  • Create Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) for Transfer-In: Personal and Program Information page 
  • Create Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) for Transfer-In: Financial Information page

Before you start, it is helpful to have the following student information for Transfer-pending COE (Form I-20) creation:

  • Passport
  • Financial documentation
  • U.S. Address, Foreign Address, Email Address, and Phone Number
  • Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code (must be the same as at previous school)
Icon - Additional information is available

CIP codes are a list of numbers assigned to specific fields of study. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) manages this list to better track and report fields of study completion in the United States.

To create a Transfer-pending COE (Form I-20) for the transfer student: 

   1. Go to the Student Information page.

Student Information

   2. Click Create I-20. The Create Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) for Transfer-In: Personal and Program Information page opens. The SEVIS record will be in Draft status.

COE for Transfer-In: Personal and Program Information

The Create Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) for Transfer-In: Personal and Program Information page has six sections:

  • Name
  • Demographics
  • Contact
  • Telephone
  • Program
  • English Proficiency
Certificate of Eligibility
Icon - Pay attention to an important point

SEVIS will populate the following fields with the values from the transfer-out school. However, the DSO can edit most of those fields, if necessary.

  • Class of Admission (DSO cannot edit this field)
  • Form Issue Reason (DSO cannot edit this field)
  • Surname/Primary Name
  • Given Name
  • Suffix
  • Passport Name
  • Preferred Name
  • Birth Date
  • Country of Birth
  • Country of Citizenship
  • City of Birth
  • Gender
  • Foreign Address 
  • Email Address
  • Telephone
  • Education Level 
  • All active dependent records will carry over with the Primary student’s SEVIS transfer

Name

Update the fields in the Name section, if needed:

Icon - Pay attention to an important point

See the SEVIS Help Hub article on SEVIS Names Standards for detailed names information.

Certificate of Eligibility
  • Surname/Primary Name
    • Enter the surname or primary name of the student. If the student has only one name, enter it in this field.
    • DSOs must use the SEVIS Names Standards when creating records in SEVIS.
    • This is a required field.
    • This field has an 80-character limit.
  • Given Name
    • Enter the given name of the student. If desired, include middle name of the student with the given name.
    • This field has an 80-character limit.
  • Suffix – If applicable, select a title from the drop-down list, such as Junior, which may display at the end of a person’s name.
  • Passport Name
    • Enter the name of the student, as written in the Machine-readable Zone (MRZ) of the passport.
    • This field has a 39-character limit.
  • Preferred Name – Enter the preferred name of the student, in accordance with SEVIS Name Standards.
    • This field has an 180-character limit.

Demographics

Update the fields in the Demographics section, if needed:

Demographics Section
  • Birth Date
    • Enter the student’s date of birth in MM/DD/YYYY format.
    • This is a required field.
Demographics

Note: When entering the Birth Date, SEVIS shows the age of the student, as entered.

  • Country of Birth
    • Select the name of the student's country of birth from the drop-down list.
    • This is a required field. 
Country of Birth

Note: For Country of Birth/Citizenship, searching by any word in country names field will filter the list.

Note: For Country of Birth, selecting the United States or any of its territories requires clicking a radio button indicating the nonimmigrant is not a U.S. citizen or national.

Indicate if nonimmigrant

Note: A Validation error occurs if the Is a United States citizen or national radio button is selected. The error states that this person is not eligible for F or M status. The DSO must correct the country of birth or delete the draft COE (Form I-20).

Validation Errors
  • Country of Citizenship
    • Select the name of the student’s country of citizenship from the drop-down list.
    • This is a required field.
  • City of Birth
    • Enter the full name of the city where the student was born.
  • Gender
    • Select the student’s gender: Female, Male, or Other.
    • This is a required field.

Contact

Complete and/or update the fields in the Contact section:

Contact Information
  • Foreign Address
    • Enter the student’s foreign address. All nonimmigrant students must have a foreign address, even if they are currently in the United States.
Icon - Additional information is available

See the SEVIS Help Hub article on SEVIS Address Standards for detailed information.

  • U.S. Physical Address
    • Click Add Address to enter a U.S. address for the student, if they have one.
      • U.S Addresses are subject to validation.
      • The U.S. Physical Address is required when creating a Transfer-pending COE (Form I-20).
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If the transfer student does not have a permanent U.S. Physical Address, the DSO may enter the school’s address for COE (Form I-20) creation.

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The DSO must update the student’s address once the student has a permanent U.S. address.

  • If the student is a commuter student whose Country of Citizenship is Mexico or Canada, click the Border Commuter checkbox. The U.S. address is not required for these students.
    • This is a required field.
  • U.S. Mailing Address
    • Click Add Mailing Address to enter a mailing address for the student, if they have one.
    • Note: U.S. Addresses are subject to validation.
    • If the U.S. Mailing Address is the same as the U.S. Physical Address, click the Same as Physical Address checkbox to use the U.S. Physical Address.
  • Email Address – Enter a valid email address for the student.
    • This is a required field. (See exception below.)
Icon - Specific text within a document applies only to M-1 vocational/technical schools or students

Exception: Email is not required M-1 students under the age of 14.

Icon - Additional information is available

See the SEVIS Help Hub for detailed SEVIS Email Standards.

Telephone

Complete one of the three fields in the Telephone section:

Telephone
Icon - Pay attention to an important point

The Telephone is a required section, but DSOs are only required to provide information in one of the Telephone fields.

  • Student does not have a telephone number – Click checkbox, if the student has told you they do not have a telephone number.
  • Foreign Telephone – Enter the country code and the telephone number, if the student uses an international telephone number.
  • U.S. Telephone – Enter the area code and the telephone number, if the student uses a U.S. telephone number.
Icon - Specific text within a document applies only to M-1 vocational/technical schools or students

Exception: Telephone is not required for M-1 students under the age of 14.

Program

Complete the fields in the Program section:

Program
Icon - Pay attention to an important point

All program and session dates entered in SEVIS must correspond to your school’s session calendar.

  • Program Start Date
    • Enter the date on which the student will begin his/her program at the transfer-in school.
    • This may be the date of any required orientations or other activities before the start of classes.
    • This is a required field.
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If/when USCIS approves the M-1 SEVIS transfer, the approved Program End Date will be reflected in whichever date is earlier:

  •  Transfer-in school’s estimated Program End Date. 
  • One-year extension from the transfer-in school’s Program Start Date.
  • Initial Session Start Date
    • Enter the date that the student will begin classes.
    • This is a required field.
Icon - Pay attention to an important point

The Initial Session Start Date must be: 

  • Next available session start date at the transfer-in school.
  • No more than six months from the date, the student entered the United States in, or was granted M-1 status. 

M-1 students may not transfer more than six months after holding M-1 status in United States, unless the student is unable to remain at the original school due to circumstances beyond the student’s control.
Note: Registration deadlines and alerts are tied to the Initial Session Start Date.

Education Level

Icon - Pay attention to an important point

M-1 transfer students must continue in the same Education Level they were pursuing at the transfer-out school.

  • Level of education must be selected before entering the Major codes. 
  • This is a required field.

Major Code 1

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M-1 transfer students must continue in the same Major Code 1 they were pursuing at the transfer-out school.

Enter the CIP code of the student’s field of study, or use the search tool by clicking Select. The Acceptable CIP Codes modal opens.

CIP Codes
  • Search for the CIP code by either:
    • Entering search terms to find the appropriate CIP code, for example, Communications, Business, Engineering, etc.
    • Searching for a program family by code number followed by a period, for example, “14.” for the Engineering programs.
  • After selecting a code, SEVIS will enter the CIP code in the Major Code 1 field.
  • This is a required field.

English Proficiency

Icon - Regulatory or policy resources

Review final guidance documents on the SEVP Guidance for Comment page: 

  • In the English Proficiency section, answer the question, “Is English proficiency required by the school?” Click either the Yes or No radio button:
    •  Yes: Requires a further Yes or No confirmation that the student has the required English skills. 
English Proficiency
Icon - Pay attention to an important point

If the school requires English proficiency and the DSO selects No for Does the student have the required English Proficiency, SEVIS will prevent the DSO from completing the COE (Form I-20).

English Proficiency

No: Requires an explanation on why the school does not require the student to be proficient in English.

English Proficiency

Click Next. The second page of the Create Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) for Transfer-In: Financial Information page opens. 

COE for Transfer-In: Financial Information

Students must provide proof that they have the financial resources to live and study in the United States. On the Create Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) for Transfer-In: Financial Information page, enter information about the student’s expenses and funding for an academic year or the length of the program, whichever is shorter.

There are four sections on the Financial Information page:

  • Financial
  • Expenses
  • Funding
  • Remarks about the Student

When the Financial Information page opens for the transfer-in student, the fields are blank.

Certificate of Eligibility

Financial

Enter the number of months (up to 12 months) for the estimated costs and funding in the Financial section. 

Financial
  • Use the drop-down list in the Estimated costs and funding for*__ months field to select the number of months for estimating expenses and sources of funding.
  • Estimates should be for the length of the program or for an academic year (whichever is shorter).
  • This is a required field.

Expenses

Complete the fields in the Expenses section:

Expenses
  • Tuition and Fees
    • Enter the amount for the student’s tuition and fees.
    • This is a required field.
  • Living Expenses
    • Enter the amount of the student’s expenses for living in the United States while attending your school.
    • This is a required field.
  • Expenses for Dependents
    • Enter the amount of expenses for any dependents.
    • The number of dependents currently associated with the student displays by the field name.
    • This is a required field.
Icon - Specific text within a document applies only to dependents in F-2. J-2, or M-2 status

All M-2 dependent records tied to the M-1’s SEVIS record at the transfer-out school will transfer with the M-1’s SEVIS record. SEVIS requires financial information for any transferring dependents.

  • Other Costs – Enter any other costs for the months of estimated expenses.
  • Specify Other Costs – Enter the reason for any other costs.
  • Total Expenses – SEVIS calculates the costs and displays the total expenses at the bottom of the Expenses section.

Funding

Complete the fields in the Funding section:

Funding
  • Student’s Personal Funds
    • Enter the amount of the student’s own personal funds.
    • This is a required field.
  • Funds from this School – Enter the amount of any funding offered by your school.
  • School Fund Type – Enter the type of school fund offered by your school, for example, an academic scholarship.
  • Funds from Other Sources – Enter the amount of any funding from other sources.
  • Other Source Type – Enter the type of funding from any other sources, for example, a parent, aunt/uncle, private grant/scholarship.
  • Total Funding – SEVIS calculates and displays the student’s total funds at the bottom of the Funding section.

Note: The student’s total funds must meet or exceed the expenses, before the DSO may issue the student’s COE (Form I-20).

Remarks about the Students

Enter any comments about the student in the Remarks about the Student field:

Remarks About Students
  • These remarks will print on the COE (Form I-20).
  • This field has a 1000-character limit.

Save Draft COE (Form I-20)

To save a draft copy of the COE (Form I-20), click Save Draft at the bottom of the page. 

Save Draft

Note: The Save Draft button is available at the bottom of each of the two Create Certificate of Eligibility (COE) pages, Personal Information and Program Information, and Financial Information.

Note: Other buttons available at the bottom of the COE pages:

  • Next
    • Takes the user to the Financial Information page from the Personal Information and Program Information page.
    • All required fields on the current page must be completed before clicking the Next button, or SEVIS will not advance to the next page.
  • Prev
    • Returns the user to the Personal Information and Program Information page from Financial Information page.
    • If entries are not saved on the current page before clicking the Prev button, any information entered will need to be re-entered.
  • Cancel
    • Cancels the COE (Form I-20) creation.
    • Returns the user to the Student Information page.

Print Draft COE (Form I-20)

To print a draft copy of the COE (Form I-20), click Print Draft I-20 at the bottom of the page.

Note: The Print Draft I-20 button is available at the bottom of each of the two COE pages, Personal Information and Program Information, and Financial Information.

To issue and print the Transfer-Pending COE (Form I-20):

Remarks About Students

Click Submit I-20 at the bottom of the Financial Information page to submit the student’s Transfer-pending COE (Form I-20). The Submission page opens.

Submit Successful

   2. Click

  • Print I-20 to print the Transfer-pending COE (Form I-20) for the M-1 Transfer-In student and his/her dependents. 
  • Go to Student Information to go to the Student Information page to review the student’s newly entered information. 
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The Form Issue Reason on the COE (Form I-20) will be Transfer Pending – [Name of Transfer out School]

  • Once the COE (Form I-20) has been issued, the DSO must sign page one of the form.
  • The original document is given to the student. (See Complete M-1 Transfer-in Process for information on what to do with the COE (Form I-20).)

When the DSO creates the Transfer-Pending COE (Form I-20), the Student Information page at the transfer-in school shows:

  • SEVIS record status will be Initial.
  • COE (Form I-20) Issue Reason will be Transfer.
Initial Status

The following occurs after the DSO at the transfer-in school creates the Transfer-Pending COE (Form I-20).

  • Before USCIS can approve the M-1 SEVIS transfer, the M-1 student must submit the following:
    • Completed Form I-539 with application fee and supporting documentation for the student and any additional M-2 dependents.
    • Transfer-Pending COE (Form I-20) for the student and any additional M-2 dependents from the transfer-in school, signed by a DSO at the transfer-in school and the student.
    • If the transfer is more than six months after the Program Start Date at the transfer-out school, the student must document why he cannot remain at the transfer-out school. These reasons must be beyond the student’s control.
  • The M-1 SEVIS transfer will remain pending while USCIS considers the transfer application. The M-1 student must enroll at the transfer-in school for the next available session.
  • The DSO must complete SEVIS registration for the student within 15 days of the Initial Session Start Date at the transfer-in school. This changes the student’s record from Initial to Active status.
Icon - Additional information is available

For more information on student registration, see Registration on the SEVIS Help Hub.

Transfer Approved Before the Transfer Release Date

If USCIS approves the transfer before the Transfer Release Date:

  • SEVIS emails the DSO at the transfer- in school of the approval.
  • USCIS mails a Form I-539 approval notice to the student.
  • Student continues study at the transfer-out school until the Transfer Release Date.
  • SEVIS deactivates the student’s record at the transfer-out school on the Transfer Release Date.
  • Student reports to and enrolls at the transfer-in school within 15 days of the Initial Session Start Date.
  • Student’s SEVIS status at the transfer-in school remains in Initial and the COE (FormI-20) Issue Reason remains Transfer, until the DSO at the transfer-in school completes SEVIS registration. The SEVIS status then changes to Active, while the COE (Form I-20) Issue Reason remains Transfer.
  • When the Transfer Release Date passes, the COE (Form I-20) Issue Reason changes to Continued Attendance.
  • Student continues study at the transfer-in school for the duration of the program.

Transfer Approved After the Transfer Release Date

If USCIS approves the transfer after the Transfer Release Date:

  • SEVIS emails the DSO at the transfer- in school of the approval.
  • USCIS mails a Form I-539 approval notice to the student.
  • SEVIS deactivates the student’s record at the transfer-out school on the Transfer Release Date.
  • Student reports to and enrolls at the transfer-in school within 15 days of the Initial Session Start Date.
  • DSO at the transfer-in school completes SEVIS registration. The SEVIS status changes to Active. The COE (Form I-20) Issue reason remains Transfer until USCIS approval.
  • COE (Form I-20) Issue Reason changes to Continued Attendance.
  • Student continues study at the transfer-in school for the duration of the program.

Transfer Denied Before the Transfer Release Date

If USCIS denies the transfer before the Transfer Release Date:

  • SEVIS emails the DSO at the transfer- in school of the denial.
  • USCIS mails a Form I-539 denial notice to the student.
  • SEVIS deactivates the student’s SEVIS record at the transfer-in school.
  • Student’s SEVIS record at the transfer-out school remains Active until the original Program End Date or until a DSO terminates the record for another reason.
  • Student may continue her course of study at the transfer-out school. 

Transfer Denied After the Transfer Release Date

If USCIS denies the transfer after the Transfer Release Date:

  • SEVIS emails the DSO at the transfer- in school of the denial.
  • USCIS mails a Form I-539 denial notice to the student.
  • SEVIS terminates the student record at the transfer-in school for Denied Transfer.
  • SEVIS returns the terminated student record to the transfer-out school.
  • USCIS notifies the student of the denial. The student may apply for a reinstatement with the transfer-out school or leave the United States immediately. There is no grace period for departure.

See the SEVIS Help Icons on the SEVIS Help Hub for a quick-reference of the icons used in this user guide.

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