If an international student or exchange visitor is already present in the United States, either attending another academic institution or on a period of Optional Practical Training (OPT/STEM OPT for F-1 students)/Academic Training (for J-1 students), 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 J-1 visa holder requests to transfer his/her immigration sponsorship from one U.S. institution to another, the transferring institutions must be authorized to host J-1 that Exchange Visitor’s  specific J category.

When a SEVIS transfer is requested, the F-1/J-1’s, including any F-2/J-2 dependents’, SEVIS ID number/s would remain the same thus keeping the F/J status in-tact even if the corresponding F/J visa is expired. The F/J 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/exchange visitor is inside the U.S. as long as the student/exchange visitor maintains a valid I-20/DS-2019, a valid passport and remains in Active  status in their SEVIS record.  The F-1/J-1 visa holder must be in good standing and have maintained appropriate status compliance to qualify for a transfer procedure.

Important considerations:

  • The SEVIS record can only be transferred to one school.
  • The new transfer-in school will be able to issue the new I-20/DS-2019 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.


SEVIS Transfer for Students               SEVIS Transfer for Scholars