US flag   Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Study in the States

View Disclaimer


Initiate Transfer for Students in Initial Status

Last updated 23-Jan-2019

General Information

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.


Register SEVIS Record for Transfer

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 - Regulatory or policy resourcesIcon - Additional information is available

For information on SEVIS registration, see:

Transfer SEVIS Record

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