- Apply for Transfer after Entering USA
- Transfer after studying one or more semesters
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:
- Get the new i20 form issued from the university you wish to attend to.
- Apply for an F1-Visa again by following the standard procedure like paying for the visa, booking an appointment etc.
- 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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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
|Are temporarily leaving UW to study full-time at another school (like a community college) and plan to return to UW in the future
|Are graduating this current quarter and will not apply for or use OPT
|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
|Have OPT approval but you DO NOT plan to start a job/practical training position.
|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:
|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.