SEVIS Help Hub illustration

SEVIS Help Hub

Initiate Transfer for Students in Initial Status


  1. Home
  2. SEVIS Help Hub
  3. Student Records
  4. Transfers
  5. Initiate Transfer for Students in Initial Status

Initiate Transfer for Students in Initial Status

Last updated: June 17, 2020

Quick Links:


New F and M students use a Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility, to enter the United States. They may request a SEVIS transfer to another SEVP-certified school before the original school’s initial session starts.

A designated school official (DSO) can complete this transfer, if the:

  • Student reports to the school that issued the original Form I-20 by the program start date, either in person or by telephone, fax, or email.
  • Program start date for the transfer-in school is within 30 days of the student’s initial date of entry to the United States.
  • Student has provided the DSO with:
    • Written confirmation of acceptance to the transfer-in school.
    • SEVIS school code for the transfer-in school.
    • Contact information for the new school’s DSO.
Icon- additional information is available

In cases where the student does not meet all of the criteria above, see SEVP transfer guidance at Transfers for F-1 Students and click to tab for Transfer-Out Schools.

The overall process has two steps:

  1. Register the student’s record in SEVIS. This prompts SEVIS to display the transfer option. Special instructions apply to this registration since the student will not actually attend the school.
  2. Transfer the student’s SEVIS record to the new school.

To register a student who requests a SEVIS transfer upon arrival to the United States for the first time, click the Registration button on the Student Information page. Complete the fields on the Registration page using the information below.



Current Session Start Date

  • Today’s date
  • Required field

Current Session End Date

  • Today’s date
  • Required field

Next Session Start Date

  • Tomorrow’s date
  • Required field

U. S. Address

  • Address where student is staying in the United States
  • Required field

Remarks about the Student

Any comments that may help explain the student’s situation. These remarks appear on the Form I-20


Icon- additional information is available

For information on SEVIS registration, see:

Once the SEVIS record is in active status, transfer it to the new school.

What's New


Try the Facebook Chatbot

Visit the tool on the Study in the States Facebook page to learn how to become an F or M international student in the United States.

Summer Employment

Learn About Summer Employment

While employed this summer, make sure you have all the relevant information on maintaining your student status, and the steps you must take before returning to school. 

Icon Guide

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

I'm Looking For

Contact Us


SEVP Response Center



Monday - Friday 
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET,
except holidays

Was This Helpful?
Please provide feedback on this page.