19 May Sevis transfer (I20 transfer) process for F1 visa students
International students who arrive in the US on an F1 visa and are enrolled in a University often have the need to transfer to a different University. The transfer process involves two steps. International transfer students should first get accepted to a new University and then transfer Sevis (transfer I20) to the new University. The transfer process involves the DSO of the transfer out school, DSO of the transfer in school and USCIS. The transfer process needs to be planned carefully to avoid status issues and any other immigration issues in the future.
There are several circumstances under which international students look to transfer schools. Below are some of the popular reasons for transferring schools:
- The student doesn’t like the University or the program currently enrolled in. It may be because you don’t like the curriculum, the tuition fee is high, the weather is too cold or you just want to be close to family and friends. The student can change the schools at any time and even before starting the classes. It is important that you report to the DSO of the school even if you intend to transfer before the classes start.
- The student has completed the undergraduate program and wants to enroll in a masters program at a different university. Graduate students wanting to enroll in Ph.D. programs also fall into this category.
- The student has completed the program, completed OPT and also STEM OPT(if eligible). The student didn’t find an employer willing to sponsor the H1B visa or the H1B petition is not picked in the lottery. The student wants to continue his education by pursuing a higher level degree at another school or enroll in Day 1 CPT Universities.
Before you can transfer to another school you should get accepted by another SEVP approved school. If you are looking to transfer in the middle of a semester or looking for an admission ASAP, it is important to find a University that offers rolling admissions without having to wait until the next semester. Skoolville.com can help you find and apply to the Universities meeting your requirements.
The student should be in active status before they can transfer to another school. The student should attend all classes and abide by the University guidelines in order to maintain active F1 status. If the SEVIS record is not active because the student has fallen out of status, the student should apply for reinstatement of F1 status by filing form I-539 with USCIS. It is advisable to take the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney to file a reinstatement petition.
Once you receive the acceptance letter from the new school, reach out to the DSO at the current school and let them know that you would like to transfer. Only one school will have access to your SEVIS record at any given time. When you transfer schools, the SEVIS record will be transferred from the old school to the new school. The DSO of the current school will work with the DSO of the new school to determine the transfer date. The transfer date is important as it releases the SEVIS record from the old school and hands it over to the new school. The new school will then issue a new I20 after the SEVIS record is released. Once you register for classes, the SEVIS record will be activated by the new university. If you are transferring in the middle of your degree, you may also need to transfer the credits from the old university. You are not required to pay the SEVIS fee again when transferring I20.
Reach out to the DSO of the new school if you have any questions regarding the transfer process. Please reach out to the Skoolville team if you need more information regarding the SEVIS transfer process.
skoolville.com is a one-stop application portal. You don’t need to apply through the university websites. With just a few clicks you can send your application to multiple universities in USA, Canada, and Australia using skoolville.com. Our service is 100% free for students.