Transferring Your SEVIS Record to Columbia (J-1 Scholar)


It may be possible to transfer your J-1 SEVIS record to Columbia for the remainder of the five-year limit if:


Submit the following documents to your sponsoring department at Columbia.

Once your documents are received, your department will confer with us to verify your eligibility for transfer.

Wait for your department to contact you with the next steps. 


Can I travel outside the U.S.?

Yes, you can. If you plan to travel after completing your program at your previous institution but before starting your program at Columbia, you must re-enter the U.S. with:

  • Your DS-2019 issued by Columbia University
  • Valid visa
  • Valid passport
Do I need a new entry visa?

If you have a valid, unexpired J-1 visa in your passport, you do not need to apply for a new visa. You may use the visa you have, even though it indicates the name of a previous institution.

If you have an expired visa and are traveling outside of the U.S., you will need to apply for a new visa, but you are not required to pay the SEVIS fee again because the SEVIS number remains the same.


If you are a student, please see Transfer to Columbia (F-1 Students) or Transfer to Columbia (J-1 Students).

If you are currently at Columbia and planning to transfer to another U.S. institution, please see Transferring Out of Columbia (J-1)

For your most recent I-94, access I-94 Arrival Record.

For more information about traveling, visit Documents Needed to Travel (Scholars) page.

For more information about your status, see Guidelines to Maintaining Status (Scholars).