Transferring Your F-1 SEVIS Record to Another School

If you're going to attend another school next term, ask us to release your electronic SEVIS record to the new school on a date that you choose. The next school cannot generate an I-20 for you until the SEVIS release date. 

Transfer from Columbia

Eligibility Requirements

To transfer your SEVIS record, you must currently be in F-1 status and meet one of the following: 

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How to Transfer

Transfer to Another School Timeline
Step 1.

Speak with us

Discuss your travel or employment plans and the new program start dates with us before choosing a SEVIS transfer release date. Here are things to consider when choosing a date:

  • If you’re traveling abroad, you will need to have the new school’s I-20 in hand when you return from your trip. This means you need the release date to be early enough for them to process your application for an I-20.

  • If you are going to work on OPT in the summer after your current program before enrolling in the fall at the new school, your release date must be after the last date of work or you will lose the employment eligibility.

  • If you are currently on post-completion OPT you need to choose a transfer release date after you stop working. OPT authorization will automatically end on the release date.

Step 2.

Submit the following documents to us as a single pdf file (using our upload form) or drop-off in person at the ISSO during office walk-in hours

Step 3.

We will review your application

We will email you only if there is a concern.

Step 4.

Once approved, we will release your SEVIS record to your new school on the agreed upon release date

On this date your new school will have ownership of your SEVIS record and we will no longer have access to it. Check with your new institution on what you need to obtain your new “transfer” I-20.

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Travel with an F-1 SEVIS transfer

If the F-1 visa in your passport is still unexpired, you may continue to use it with your new school’s I-20.  You will keep the same SEVIS number and you are considered to be a returning student. 

If you need to apply for a new visa, you do not need to pay a new SEVIS fee because it is a continuation of the same SEVIS record.

Summer Travel

If you travel abroad in the summer before starting a program in the fall, you can re-enter the U.S. any time once you have the new school’s transfer-in I-20.

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If you have further questions concerning your I-20, please contact your new school.