To be eligible to transfer, you must consistently maintain F status and follow the correct transfer procedures. To maintain your status at your current school, you must continue attending all of your classes while you are waiting to transfer. For an F student, that is until your transfer release date. Your transfer release date is the day on which the designated school official (DSO) at your current school moves responsibility for your Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record to your new school. An F-1 student in good standing is eligible to transfer to another school or program of study. To start the process of transferring, you must bring the following to your designated school official (DSO):
- Written confirmation of acceptance to another Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school
- Contact information for the new school’s DSO
- The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) school code for the transfer-in school
Your DSO will then work with you, and the DSO at your new school, to choose a transfer release date. This date is when the DSO at your transfer-in school takes responsibility for your SEVIS record. Several factors go into selecting this date:
- Academic needs
- Travel and employment plans
- Projected start date of your new program
Once your transfer release date arrives, the DSO at Lincoln Academy will not have access to your SEVIS record, and your new DSO can create a new Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status,” for you. It is important to get a new Form I-20 (signed by your new DSO and you) as soon as possible. To maintain your status, register for classes and contact your new DSO within 15 days of the program start date listed on your new Form I-20.
If you have arrived in the United States but want to transfer to a new school before you begin classes at the school listed on your Form I-20, talk to the DSO at the school listed on that form. You need to inform the DSO that you have arrived in the United States and want to transfer immediately to another SEVP-certified school. You must show proof of acceptance to your new school. You must report to your new school and enroll in a full course of study within 30 days of arriving in the United States.
(If your DSO believes you may not have maintained your status, your SEVIS record could be in Terminated status, which is the DSO’s way of reporting a concern to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. You may still be able to transfer in Terminated status. Talk to your current DSO and a DSO at the new school if you want to transfer with a terminated record.)
Transferring to Another School
Instructions for Transferring to Another School as an F-1 Student