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1st Case: If an F-1 student with an Active SEVIS record wants to transfer to another school
The student must maintain F-1 status at your school by pursuing a full course of study or be engaged in post-completion optional practical training (OPT) until the transfer release date.
The student must be accepted by another SEVP-certified school. The student should bring you the following information:
- Written confirmation of the acceptance
- Contact information for the new school’s DSO
- The SEVIS school code for the transfer-in school to ensure transfer to the correct school
Work with the student to choose a transfer release date. Base that date on the student’s academic needs, travel and work plans, and projected program start date at the transfer-in school.
A transferring student must also contact the new DSO within 15 days of the program start date and register for classes. These students need to ensure that the DSO at the transfer-in school has all the information needed to update the SEVIS record, including any change of address. Advise the transferring student to contact the DSO at the transfer-in school. The DSO at the transfer-in school will be able to create a Form I-20 issued for the reason for the transfer. Once a transfer student registers, the student should ask for a Form I-20 that shows the status as a continuing student and that the transfer is approved.
On the transfer release date, the responsibility for the student’s SEVIS record transfers to the DSO at the transfer-in school. You can no longer have access to the record to make changes or print a new Form I-20. Your school will have a Deactivated record for the student.
This Form I-20 will have the student’s new program start date. It is important that the student get a new valid Form I-20 as quickly as possible. The Form I-20 from your school will no longer be valid.
2nd Case: If a new Initial F-1 student wants to transfer to another school
As with any Initial student, the student must report to your school by the program start date listed on the Form I-20 (in person or via e-mail, telephone and/or fax).
For any F-1 transfer, the student first must provide written verification of acceptance at another SEVP-certified school. The options depend on the program start date and when the student enters (or plans to enter) the United States.
- If the student has received acceptance by another SEVP-certified school with a program start date fewer than 30 days before or after the student’s initial admission into the United States, you must transfer the student’s SEVIS record. Follow the directions in the next question for transferring an Initial record.
- If the student does not have a program start date at the transfer-in school within 30 days of the initial admission into the United States, the student may do one of the following:
- Enroll for a full course of study at the transfer-out school. Once the student’s record is Active, the student may request a transfer following the procedures above.
- Withdraw acceptance to your school and then leave the United States and get a new Form I-20 from the DSO at the school the student wants to attend. After leaving the United States, the student must pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee for the new school. Since the student entered the United States and reported to a DSO at your school, you must make the record Active and then terminate it for authorized early withdrawal. The student must exit the United States within 15 days. Use this option only if you know the student plans to leave the United States.
- The student may ask to have the DSO transfer the Terminated record if all three of the following conditions exist:
- The student does not choose one of the options above
- The student fails to enroll in classes
- You have terminated the student’s SEVIS record for Failure to Enroll
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