Change University after F1 visa stamping

Situation 1: Can I transfer to another US University before first semester? Transfer in first week? Issues ?
Situation 2: My brother is admitted into a university A for Fall 2012 and got her visa stamped.He is in US now. For some reason, we need to change the university right now even before he can start his first semester.
If in case he needs to visit India sometime before she gets graduates and come back, does he need to get his visa stamped again with the new university ?
What is the chance of his visa getting approved for University B ? Will it have any other complications ?
Definitely appreciate any suggestions or comments on this thread and thanks for taking time in helping out.
Simple Answer: Yes, you can transfer or change to a different university after you get visa stamping.
Steps or Options:
  • Apply for Transfer after Entering USA
  • Transfer after studying one or more semesters
Follow this procedure on how you can change university without going for visa interview for again. Following instructions is given in ICE site F1 University Transfer website.
University Transfer After F1 Visa
The student must report to your school by the program start date listed on his or her Form I-20. Reporting does not have to be in person, it may be via e-mail, telephone, and/or fax.
As with any other F-1 transfer, the student must provide written verification of his or her acceptance at another SEVP-certified school.
If the student has been accepted by another SEVP-certified school with a program start date that is within 30 days of the student’s initial admission into the United States, you must transfer the student’s SEVIS record. Follow the directions below for transferring an Initial record.
If the student does not have a program start date at the transfer-in school that is within 30 days of his or her initial admission into the United States, the student may do one of the following:
Enroll for a full course of study at your school. Once the student’s record is Active, he or she may request a transfer following the procedures above.
Withdraw his or her acceptance to your school, leave the United States, and obtain a new Form I-20 from the school they wish to attend. After exiting the U.S., they will have to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee. The student must exit the United States within 15 days. Since the student entered the United States, and reported to your school, you must make the record Active and then terminate it for Authorized Early Withdrawal. Use this option only if you know the student plans to leave the United States.
If the student does not choose one of the options above and fails to enroll for classes, terminate the student’s SEVIS record for Failure to Enroll. The student may then ask to have his or her Terminated record transferred.
– How do I transfer an Initial SEVIS record?
SEVIS functionality requires that you make the student’s record Active in SEVIS in order to release the record to the transfer-in school.
For the current session end date, use today’s date. For the next session start date, use tomorrow’s date. Select the Transfer Out function and use tomorrow’s date as the Transfer Release Date. Write “Transfer of initial student not enrolled at this school” in the remarks.
You can make a student’s SEVIS record Active solely for the purpose of initiating a transfer. ICE does not (and will not) view this as registering the student. In these circumstances, the SEVIS record clearly indicates the student properly reported to your school and the school properly initiated an immediate transfer of the student’s SEVIS record. It does not indicate that the student enrolled in classes.
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So you got your F1 visa approved for a university but then decided to join a different one? It’s completely possible if you follow the right steps. You will need to:

  1. Get the new i20 form issued from the university you wish to attend to.
  2. Apply for an F1-Visa again by following the standard procedure like paying for the visa, booking an appointment etc.
  3. Explain the officer why you had a change of heart and get the visa approved again.

The U.S. government considers all the following examples to be possible “SEVIS transfer” situations:

  1. Completing a program at one school and starting a new program at a different school Examples:
    • A student graduates with a bachelor’s degree and will begin graduate study
    • A student graduates from high school in the U.S. and will begin study at a community college or university
    • A student completes an intensive English program and will start a university degree
  2. Currently studying at one school and deciding (before completing program) to change to a new school
    Example: A student is studying for a bachelor’s degree. The student decides after only two quarters at their current school that they want to change to a different school.
  3. Currently doing OPT and starting a new program of study at a different school Examples:
    • A student graduated with a bachelor’s degree and started 12-month standard OPT. During their OPT they also apply to graduate schools. They are admitted and decide to start a Master’s degree that will begin before or after completion of the 12-month standard OPT.
    • A student graduated with a Master’s degree and started 12-month standard OPT. Then they started a STEM OPT extension period. They receive admission to a new program of study that will begin before or after the STEM extension OPT finishes.

Eligibility for a SEVIS Record Transfer

  • You must currently be maintaining F-1 status
  • You must have an offer of admission from a new school
  • If you already graduated or completed OPT, you must still be within your 60-day grace period
  • The start of classes at your new school must be within 5 months of one of the following:
    • academic program completion at UW
    • last day of enrollment at UW (if not graduating from UW)
    • OPT authorization end date
    • For students not completing OPT period, the requested SEVIS I-20 transfer/release date

If the period of time between F-1 activities is longer than 5 months, your SEVIS record is not eligible for transfer. Your new school must issue a new initial I-20 with a new SEVIS number.

What is the SEVIS I-20 Transfer/Release Date?

Only one school at a time can access your F-1 SEVIS record. On the SEVIS I-20 transfer/release date, SEVIS access “transfers” from UW to your new school.

The SEVIS transfer affects your F-1 benefits, including employment, travel, and I-20 validity.

On the SEVIS transfer/release date:

  • The UW ISS office loses access to your electronic SEVIS record
  • Your new school gains access to your electronic SEVIS record; your new school can create your new I-20 only after the SEVIS transfer/release date
  • OPT authorization is cancelled (regardless of end date printed on EAD)
  • On-campus work authorization is cancelled
  • The UW I-20 is no longer valid for travel to the U.S.

How to choose a SEVIS I-20 Transfer/Release Date

The chart below provides guidance for choosing your SEVIS I-20 transfer/release date. Also, remember:

  • ISS will take time to process after you submit your completed SEVIS I-20 transfer/release request.
  • ISS cannot set a past date as the SEVIS I-20 transfer/release date. If ISS receives/processes your SEVIS I-20 transfer/release request after your requested transfer/release date, ISS will transfer/release the SEVIS record on the day of ISS processing.
  • You cannot cancel a SEVIS I-20 transfer/release on or after the transfer/release date; you can only request to cancel the SEVIS transfer/release prior to the transfer/release date.
If you. . . Recommended Transfer Date:
Are discontinuing studies at UW without completing a degree
  • One day after the end of finals week in your last quarter at UW, per the academic calendar
  • UW cannot transfer your SEVIS record before the end of the quarter.
  • If you work on campus and want to continue working on campus temporarily after your final quarter at UW, consult your primary ISS adviser about an appropriate SEVIS transfer date.
Are temporarily leaving UW to study full-time at another school (like a community college) and plan to return to UW in the future
  • One day after the end of finals week in your last quarter at UW, per the academic calendar
  • UW cannot transfer your SEVIS record before the end of the quarter.
Are graduating this current quarter and will not apply for or use OPT
  • One day after last day of finals in your graduation quarter at UW, per the academic calendar.
  • UW cannot transfer your SEVIS record before the end of the quarter.
Recently graduated and are in your 60-day grace period (did not apply for OPT) As soon as possible, and at least 3 weeks before the end of your 60-day grace period
  • Recently graduated;
  • Have a pending OPT application; but
  • You DO NOT plan to use any OPT
  • As soon as possible
Have OPT approval but you DO NOT plan to start a job/practical training position.
  • As soon as possible
  • Request the transfer at least 3 weeks before your 90-day-limit of unemployment ends.
  • If you exceed 90 days of unemployment, your F-1 status is considered invalid.
Have a pending or approved OPT application and plan to do some OPT before starting your new degree program One day after your last date of employment: 

  • Discuss your final employment date with your supervisor
  • Remember, OPT authorization is cancelled on the transfer/release date (regardless of end date printed on EAD)
Have approved OPT authorization but you do not plan to start a job/practical training position As soon as possible; request the transfer at least 3 weeks before your 90-day-limit of unemployment ends. If you exceed 90 days of unemployment, your F-1 status is considered invalid.