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
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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.

Determine Your SEVIS Transfer Release Date

There are several factors to consider when determining the date on which you would like your SEVIS record released to your next school. Contact us if you have any questions about this.

Release Date Considerations

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 or the STEM OPT extension you need to choose a transfer release date after you stop working. OPT authorization will automatically end on the release date.

If you are currently on the STEM OPT extension, please also make sure to submit a STEM OPT report and upload your final evaluation (page 5 of the I-983) before you submit a transfer out request.

Your new program at your transfer-in school must begin at the next available term, and must not be more than 5 months from either your I-20 program end date or your OPT or STEM authorization end date. If you choose a transfer release date that is earlier than one of the dates mentioned above, then your new program must begin no more than 5 months from that date to be eligible for a transfer I-20.

Step 2.

Gather your documents and information


Log in to Compass to submit your application

Please click the appropriate link below.

Not sure of your campus? Check our campus school list.

Step 4.

We will review your application

We will email you when your request has been processed and approved, usually with 10 business days.

Step 5.

We will release your SEVIS record

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.

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.