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Manage Transfer of F-1 SEVIS Record

Last updated 23-May-2018

General Information

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

F-1 Transfer Process

Step Player/S Actions
1 Student

Notifies DSO of wish to transfer to another SEVIS-certified school.

Note: It is good practice for the DSO at the transfer-out school to request:

  • Acceptance letter from the transfer-in school.
  • Written transfer request from F-1 student.
2 DSO at 
Transfer-out School and Student
  • Together, determine best Transfer Release Date based on:
    • Transfer-out school Current Session End Date or 
  • Post-Completion OPT End Date.
    • Next Session Start Date at transfer-in school. 
  • DSO at transfer-out school sets Transfer Release Date in SEVIS.
  • Student continues studies until Transfer Release Date. 
  • Student continues employment until end of employment authorization or Transfer Release Date.
3 SEVIS
  • On Transfer Release Date, deactivates transfer student SEVIS record at transfer-out school.
  • Unlocks draft Transfer Form I-20 allowing transfer-in school to create Transfer Form I-20 for transfer student.
4 DSO at 
Transfer-in School
  • Creates Transfer Form I-20 from draft SEVIS record received from transfer-out school.
5 Student
  • Reports to transfer-in school within 15 days of program start date.
  • Enrolls in a full course of study for next session and begins classes on transfer-in school’s Initial Session Start Date.
6 DSO at 
Transfer-in School
  • Registers transfer student’s record in SEVIS, noting transfer completed and the date in the Student Remarks.
  • SEVIS record changes from Initial to Active status.
  • Form I-20 Issue Reason changes from Transfer to Continued Attendance.

F-1 Transfer Process Stages and Student Lists

The student name and transfer request will appear on the Transferring lists in the following SEVIS statuses during the transfer process:

Stage Transfer-Out School Transfer-In School
  Student Status Students Transferring Out List – Request Status Student Status Students Transferring In List – Request Status
Transfer Request 
Date Set
Active Approved Draft Approved
Transfer Release 
Date Current
Deactivated Approved Draft Approved
Transfer-In Pending/ 
I-20 Created
Deactivated Approved Initial Approved
Transfer-In Completed/ 
I-20 Registered
Deactivated No longer on list Active No longer on list

  • Any F-1 records in Terminated or Completed status at the point of transfer will stay in Terminated or Completed status at the transfer-in school, until USCIS approves a reinstatement.
  • The Terminated or Completed student can also depart the United States and return with an Initial Attendance Form I-20 from the transfer-in school. The new SEVIS record will reset the student’s F-1 status and benefits clock, but would avoid a reinstatement.

F-1 Transfer Process Stages and Allowed DSO Actions

This chart shows what actions are available to the DSOs at the transfer-out and transfer-in schools at various points of the F-1 student transfer process. The stage the record is in, during the transfer process, determines the actions a DSO can take.

Stage Available Actions for School Officials
  Transfer-Out School Transfer-In School
Transfer Request Date
  • View record
  • Update record (including cancel transfer request)
  • Print Form I-20   
 View the following on draft student record:
  • Request/Authorization Details
  • Employment Information

Transfer Release Date

View the following on deactivated student record:
  • Event History
  • Request/Authorization Details
  • Employment History
  • View the following on draft student record:
    • Request/Authorization Details
    • Employment Information
  • Create Transfer Form I-20 
  • Print draft Transfer Form I-20
  • Print final Transfer Form I-20
Transfer Pending/ 
I-20 Created
View the following on Deactivated student record:
  • Event History
  • Request/Authorization Details
  • Employment History
  • View record
  • Update record
  • Print Form I-20

        Note: The PDSO may transfer  F-1 students who have just transferred-in and remain in Initial status.

F-1 Transfer with Employment

All F-1 employment (current and future) is canceled and must stop on the Transfer Release Date. 

Status of Employment 
on Transfer Release Date
SEVIS Action on Employment 
on Transfer End Date
  • Approved, active employment with time remaining.
  • SEVIS changes employment end date to Transfer Release Date.
  • Employment start date is in future.
  •     SEVIS cancels pending employment.

F-1 Transfer with Reduced Course Load (RCL)

Any approved RCL (current or future) is canceled on the Transfer Release Date.

Status of RCL at Point of SEVIS Transfer Release Date SEVIS Action on RCL on 
Transfer Release Date
  • RCL is active.
  • SEVIS changes RCL end date To Transfer Release Date.
  • RCL start date is in future.
  • SEVIS cancels pending RCL.

Manage F-1 Transfer

When a student begins full-time studies at a new school, the student’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record must be transferred to that new school. This allows SEVIS and nonimmigrant students to maintain their original SEVIS ID and history. Designated school officials (DSOs) can view pending transfers and all past transfer actions in a student’s record, including transfer-in and -out schools and transfer release dates. It is also possible for the DSO to correct or reverse certain recently passed transfers.

 

View Pending Transfer

To view a pending transfer:

  1. Navigate to the Student Information page.

the Student Information page

  2. Click Request/Authorization Details. The Current Request/Authorization Details page opens.

The Current Request/Authorization Details page

  3. Transfer information includes:

  • Release date
  • Transfer From School/Campus
  • Transfer From School Code
  • Transfer To School/Campus
  • Transfer To School Code
  • Request Status

  4.  Click Return to go back to the Student Information page.

Cancel Pending F-1 Transfer

If an F-1 student changes her mind and decides not to transfer to the chosen transfer-in school, the DSO can cancel the F-1 pending transfer at any point before the Transfer Release Date. To cancel a pending transfer:

  1. Navigate to the Student Information page:

the Student Information page

  2. Click Cancel Transfer. The Cancel Transfer Event page opens.

The Cancel Transfer Event

   3. Enter any relevant remarks and click one of the following:

  • Cancel Transfer: Cancels the transfer request. The Update Successful page opens. Click one of the following:

The Update Successful page

  • Return to View Record: Opens the Student Information page.
  • Print I-20: Prints the student’s Form I-20.
  • Reset Values: Returns all fields to their original values.
  • Cancel: Cancels the action and returns the user to the Student Information page.

Correcting Transfer Information

Sometimes DSOs transfer students to another school in error. Here are a couple of options for correcting the mistake.

Data Fix Correction

 

Icon - Pay attention to an important pointIf the student decides to remain at the transfer-out school after the Transfer Release Date, contact the SEVP Response Center at (703) 603-3400 or (800) 892-4829, and request that the transfer be canceled. Performing a transfer correction in SEVIS on a student wishing to remain at the transfer-out school will create a new student record and important information will be lost.

PDSO Transfer Correction for F-1 Students Only

The principal designated school official (PDSO) at the transfer-in school may transfer F-1 students, who have just transferred-in, to a different school, as long as the student’s record remains in Initial status. This option is available in the student’s SEVIS record Corrections menu. DSOs do not have this ability.

Once a student is registered, the transfer is marked complete and the Transfer Out link in the Corrections menu will no longer be available, even if the student is returned to Initial status.

Icon - Additional information is availableSee PDSO Record Correction on the SEVIS Help Hub for detailed directions.

Transfer History

The new Transfer History page allows DSOs to see all of the transfer activity associated with a particular student from the creation of the SEVIS record to the point the student arrives at the DSOs’ schools. To open the Transfer History page:

  1. Navigate to the Student Information page.

the Student Information page

  2. Click Transfer History. The Transfer History page opens.

The Transfer History page

The Transfer History page displays the following information about every transfer that has occurred on the SEVIS record since its creation to the present:

  • Transfer Release Date
  • Transfer From [Out] School Name – Campus Name
  • Transfer From [Out] School Code
  • Transfer To [In] School Name – Campus Name
  • Transfer To [In] School Code

Icon Guide

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