If an international student is already present in the United States, either attending another academic institution or on a period of Optional Practical Training, and wish to move to a new institution, his/her SEVIS record will need to be transferred from the previous school to the new institution.
When a SEVIS transfer is requested, the F-1 student's (and any F-2 dependents') SEVIS ID number would remain the same thus keeping the F status in-tact even if the corresponding F visa is expired. The F visa is an entry document only, and only has to be valid during any entry to the U.S. The corresponding visa may expire while the student is inside the U.S. as long as the student maintains a valid I-20, a valid passport and remains in Active status in their SEVIS record. The F-1 visa holder must be in good standing and have maintained appropriate status compliance to qualify for a transfer procedure.
- The SEVIS record can only be transferred to one school.
- The new transfer-in school will be able to issue the new I-20 only after the transfer release date.
- Students who wish to cancel the transfer of the SEVIS record must notify their ISA at least 5-10 business days before the transfer release date; once the transfer release date occurs, the international advisors will no longer have access to the SEVIS record.
To qualify for a SEVIS transfer, the new program start date (at the new school) must be within 150 days of either when the student completed studies at the previous school or when the student completed OPT/ STEM OPT. The student may choose the Transfer date, which is the day in which the SEVIS record will formally transfer from one school to the other school. The student that wants to request a SEVIS transfer must carefully consider when the transfer date needs to occur.
The transfer date chosen should fall within the following parameters:
- For students who will not graduate, choose a date after the semester ends. Typically, the date will be after the last day of classes.
- For students who will graduate, choose a date after the degree confirmation date. The date chosen however, must be within the 60-day grace period immediately following graduation.
- In both cases, the transfer date must be before the start of the semester at the new school
For a student that is currently on OPT/ STEM OPT, or whose period of OPT/ STEM OPT will be ending in the near future, the student may choose a transfer date that is:
- Either on or before the current OPT/ STEM OPT end date or
- Within the 60-day grace period immediately following the OPT/ STEM OPT end date and
- Before the start of the semester at the new school
Students who are employed:
OPS (on-campus): Employment must end before the transfer date for students not graduating; employment must end on or before the Friday before commencement or the transfer date whichever comes first.
Assistantship/Fellowship (on-campus): Employment must end by the contract end date for the semester (see Letter of Appointment); the transfer date should be selected to be after the contract end date to avoid any status issue with being paid after a SEVIS transfer occurs. Typically the contract end date is May 15 (spring), August 15 (summer), or December 31 (fall).
CPT (on or off-campus): Employment must end by the CPT end date listed on the I-20, or by the Friday before commencement, or by the transfer date, whichever comes first.
- OPT/STEM OPT: Employment must end on or before the transfer date or the EAD card expiration date, whichever comes first.
Please gather the following documentation:
- Admission Letter to the New Transfer-In School: Do not provide the Transfer-Out form without a copy of the admission letter. The SEVIS record cannot be transferred without an admission letter to the new school.
- The new Transfer-In School’s SEVIS Release/Transfer-In Form (if needed): Contact the new, transfer-in school to ask them to provide their form. Complete the section of the form which the F1 student is required to complete and forward to the student’s ISA within UFIC for completion of the school section, if necessary. If the new, transfer-in school does not have a SEVIS Release/Transfer-In Form, it is not required.
Once you have these documents,click the following button to start the Transfer Out Request:
An email will be sent when the SEVIS transfer is complete.
Frequently Asked Questions for F-1 Students
Can I request to transfer my SEVIS record after I have graduated or while on OPT?
Students are eligible to request a SEVIS record transfer during the 60-day grace period following the program completion. For those on OPT/STEM OPT, they may request a SEVIS record transfer during the OPT/STEM OPT period and within the 60-day grace period following the OPT/STEM OPT expiration date.
How does my SEVIS transfer affect my on-campus employment eligibility?
The student may only work on campus at the school that has access to their SEVIS record. Check with the international student adviser at the new school to verify employment eligibility.
How does my SEVIS transfer affect my OPT/STEM OPT?
Students may request a SEVIS record transfer during their OPT period and within the 60-day grace period following the OPT/STEM OPT expiration date, provided the student has maintained F1 status while on OPT/STEM OPT. Once the SEVIS record is transferred, the student may no longer work. The remainder of the OPT/STEM OPT period is void as of the SEVIS transfer release date/card expiration date, whichever comes first.
Can I stay in the US between programs?
The student may remain in the US between programs if the following is true:
- the SEVIS record is able to be transferred in accordance with transfer regulations, and
- the new program starts within 5 months (150 days) of either:
- the last day in attendance at UF
- degree confirmation date
- the last day of employment on OPT/STEM OPT or the OPT/STEM OPT card expiration date, whichever comes first.
What if the new program start date is more than 5 months (150 days) away?
If the period between programs is more than 5 months (150 days), the student’s SEVIS record cannot be transferred and the student must depart the US within the 60-day grace period. The new school must issue a new Initial I-20 with a new SEVIS number. The student then must apply for a new F1 visa which will match the new SEVIS number; if the visa is approved, the student may then re-enter the US no earlier than 30 days before the new program start date on the new Initial I-20.
How does my SEVIS transfer affect my travel plans?
If traveling outside of the US, please take into consideration those travel plans when determining the transfer release date. Whichever school holds the SEVIS record at the time of re-entry to the U.S. is the school whose I-20 the student must have at the port of entry. It is important to discuss these travel plans with the student’s international student advisor at the new school so that an appropriate transfer release date can be selected and the new I-20 can be processed to facilitate international travel.
Can I use my current F-1 visa even though I am changing schools?
As long as the proper transfer procedures have been followed and the student’s SEVIS record is able to be transferred, the student will be able to use the current, unexpired visa to re-enter the U.S. Even though the visa has the previous school’s name printed on it, as long as the SEVIS number is the same and the visa has not expired yet, it can be used for re-entry into the U.S.
Do I need to report to my new school’s international office?
Yes. All SEVIS transfer students must report to the new school’s International Office within 15 days of the program start date listed on their I-20. Different schools have different check-in procedures; check with the international student’s office at the new school for more information.