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

Are you currently in J-1 student status at another U.S. institution? Learn if you are eligible to have your active SEVIS record transferred from your current school to Columbia.

Transfer to Columbia
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Application Alert


Beginning 9AM Friday, March 10 through 11 AM Monday, March 13, you will not to be able to submit or upload any ISSO applications (including this one) as we conduct our Compass database migration. Do not worry, you will be able to submit applications again starting 12:00 PM Monday, March 13. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

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Eligibility Requirements

You are eligible to transfer your J-1 SEVIS record only if you meet the following requirements:

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How to Transfer

Steps to transfer Your SEVIS Record to Columbia (J-1 Student)
Step 1

Download and complete the Transfer-in form

This will require you to meet with your international student advisor who will complete the form.  You will need to choose a transfer release date.

The "release date" is the date on which Columbia will have ownership of your SEVIS record. We cannot issue a COE for you until your record is released to us.

The release date for your J-1 SEVIS record must be before the expiration date of the DS-2019.

Step 2

Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019)

Follow and complete the application instructions for a Certificate of Eligibility. We're currently accepting COE applications for Spring 2017 only. We'll start accepting COE applications for Summer and Fall 2017 in the second week of January 2017.

Step 3

Once you have arrived at Columbia University, report your arrival here

This step is necessary to complete the transfer procedure and activate your Columbia SEVIS record. You must complete the steps above no later than 15 days after your program's start date.

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Travel Information for Transfer Students

Yes, you can. If you plan to travel after completing your studies 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

If you have a valid, unexpired J-1 student 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 school.

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).

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