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Manage Transfer of M-1 SEVIS Record

Last updated 31-Jan-2018

General Information

When a student begins full-time studies at another 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. M-1 students may transfer their studies to another school within six months of either:

  • First admission in M-1 status.
  • Approved change to M-1 status.

It is important to remember:

  • Transfer process differs between F-1 and M-1 students.
  • M-1 students may only transfer to another M-1 SEVIS-certified school.
  • M-1 students must work with their designated school officials (DSOs) to begin the transfer process.
  • SEVIS transfers all related M-2 dependents with the primary M-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 M-1 transfer process overview.
  • Federal regulations and policy governing the M-1 process.
  • How a SEVIS transfer affects an M-1 student record.

This guide and process do not affect school policy or school-owned records.

Transfer Terminology

Terminology Description
1.    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.
2.    Transfer-In School 
(“Transfer To School” in SEVIS)
The school that the student wants to attend in the future.
3.    Transfer Request Date The date the DSO at the transfer-out school enters the transfer request. 
4.    Transfer Release Date The date the SEVIS record is deactivated from the transfer-out school. 
5.    Transfer Complete Date    

The later of the following dates:

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves the M-1 transfer.
  • Transfer-in school registers the Initial Transfer SEVIS record and the Form I-20 Issue Reason changes to Continued Attendance.

According to regulation, students must tell the DSO at the transfer-out school that they plan to transfer. As a best practice, M-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 school.
  • Contact information for the new school’s DSO.

M-1 Transfer Guidance

DSOs can transfer M-1 student records to another SEVP-certified M-1 school. However, before the transfer is complete, the M-1 student must submit a transfer application using the Form I-539 to USCIS. The student may begin studying at the new school while the transfer application is pending. Certain conditions allow or prevent an M-1 SEVIS transfer request.

Conditions Allowing an M-1 SEVIS Transfer Request

DSOs may transfer an M-1 record to another SEVP-certified school when the student’s SEVIS record is in one of the following statuses:

  • Active
  • Completed
  • Terminated 

Completed and Terminated records will require a reinstatement supported by the transfer-in school. The reinstatement package must be submitted to USCIS, along with the transfer application.

Conditions Preventing an M-1 SEVIS Transfer Request

SEVIS does not allow a DSO to transfer an M-1 record when the student record has a:

Important:

  • The DSO may request a transfer after six months from the program start date, only if the student cannot remain at the initial school due to circumstances beyond his/her control.
  • The student may not change his/her initial education level or objective when transferring.

Resources

M-1 Transfer Process and Players

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 M-1 student.
2 DSO at 
Transfer-out School and Student
  • Determine best Transfer Release Date based on:
    • Date the M-1 student gained M-1 status.
    • Transfer-out school Current Session 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.
3 DSO at 
Transfer-in School and Student
  • On Transfer Request Date, DSO at transfer-in school sees student’s draft SEVIS record and creates Initial status Transfer Form I-20.
  • Student sends new Transfer Form I-20 and M-1 Transfer application to USCIS.
4 SEVIS
  • On Transfer Release Date, SEVIS deactivates transfer student’s SEVIS record at the 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.
7 USCIS USCIS either:
  • Approves the M-1 transfer application and notifies the student and DSO at transfer-in school.
  • Denies M-1 transfer application and notifies the student and DSO at transfer-in school. 
8 DSO at 
Transfer-in School
  • If transfer approved:
    • Form I-20 Issue Reason changes from Transfer to Continued Attendance.
    • Prints Continued Attendance Form I-20 and gives to student.
  • If transfer denied:
    • Student is out of status and DSO must terminate student SEVIS record.

M-1 Transfer Process Stages and Student Lists

The student’s SEVIS record will appear on the following lists during the transfer process:

Stage Transfer-Out School Lists Transfer-In School Lists
  Student Status Students Transferring Out – Request Status Student Status Students Transferring In – Request Status
Transfer Request Date Set Active    Requested Draft Requested
Transfer Release Date Current Deactivated Requested Draftt Requested
Transfer-in Pending/ Form I-20 Created Deactivated Requested Initial  Requested
Transfer-in Pending/ 
Forms I-20 and 
I-539 received by USCIS
Deactivated Pending Initial Pending
Transfer-in Pending/ 
Form I-20 Registered
Deactivated Pending Active Pending
Transfer-in Completed/ USCIS Approved M-1 Transfer Deactivated No longer on list Active No longer on list

  • Any M-1 records in Terminated or Completed status at the point of transfer will remain in Terminated or Completed status at the transfer-in school until USCIS approves a reinstatement.
  • Any M-1 transfers that remain in Requested status for more than 90 days will appear on an Alert List.

M-1 Transfer Process Stages and Allowed DSO Actions

This chart indicates what actions are available to the DSOs at the transfer-out and transfer-in schools at various points of the M-1 student transfer process.

Stage School Officials May
  Transfer-Out School Transfer-In School
Transfer Request Date
  • View record
  • Update record (including cancel transfer request)
  • Print Form I-20
  • View:
    • Request/Authorization Details
    • Employment Information
  • Create Transfer Form I-20 
  • Print draft Transfer Form I-20
  • Print final Transfer Form I-20
Transfer Release Date View on Deactivated student record:
  • Event History
  • Request/Authorization Details
  • Employment History
  • View:
    • Request/Authorization Details
    • Employment Information
  • Create Transfer Form I-20
  • Print Transfer Form I-20
  • Register student record 
  • (Form I-20 Issue Reason will remain Transfer until USCIS Transfer Approval)
Transfer Pending/ 
Form I-20 Created
View on Deactivated student record:
  • Event History
  • Request/Authorization Details
  • Employment History
  • View record
  • Register record
  • Update record
  • Print Form I-20

M-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.

 

M-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 M-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 with Request/Authorization circled

  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 M-1 Transfer

If an M-1 student changes their mind and decides not to transfer to the chosen transfer-in school, the DSO can cancel the M-1 pending transfer in SEVIS at any point before the Transfer Release Date.

Icon - Pay attention to an important pointIcon - Specific text within a document applies only to M-1 vocational/technical schools or studentsIcon - Negative consequence

If the Transfer Release Date has passed and the M-1 student has already mailed the transfer application to USCIS:

  • DSO must not cancel the transfer in SEVIS.
  • Student must contact the appropriate service center directly to withdraw the transfer application.

To cancel a pending M-1 transfer in SEVIS:

  1. Navigate to the Student Information page:

the Student Information page with Cancel Transfer circled

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

The Cancel Transfer Event page

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

  • Cancel Transfer: The Confirm page opens. Click one of the following: 

The Confirm page

Icon - Pay attention to an important pointIcon - Negative consequenceDo not cancel the transfer in SEVIS, if the M-1 transfer application paperwork has been sent to USCIS. The student must write to USCIS to have the extension application withdrawn.

  • Yes: Opens the Update Successful page. Click one of the following:

Update Successful Page

  • Return to View Record: Opens the Student Information page.
  • Print I-20: Prints the student’s Form I-20.
  • No: Cancels the action and returns the user to the Student Information page
  • 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 through Data Fix

Icon - Pay attention to an important point

If 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.

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.

Student Information Page with Transfer History circled

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

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.