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Transferring Your SEVIS Record

F-1 students who want to transfer from one U.S. school to another must carefully follow certain procedures to maintain lawful status.  When transferring, the start date at your new school must be within 5 months of your transfer out date in SEVIS or your program completion, whichever is earlier.  For students authorized for post-completion OPT, the new program start date must be within 5 months of your SEVIS transfer out date or the end of the OPT authorization, whichever is earlier.  Be aware that authorization for OPT ends on the transfer release date and is not transferable. If you want to complete OPT, the transfer-out school must set the release date after the OPT ends. You can request to transfer up until the end of the 60-day grace period following post-completion OPT, as long as the transfer release date will occur within five months or at the start of the next available session, whichever is sooner.
To transfer into or out of LaGrange College, you must currently be maintaining F-1 status and if you have already graduated, you must be within your 60-day grace period.
Procedures to transfer into LaGrange College:
Before transferring your SEVIS record to LaGrange College, you must first apply for admission and be accepted.  You will need to check with your international adviser from your transferring out school what documents they will need to verify that you have been accepted into LaGrange College before they begin the transfer process.
Procedures to transfer out of LaGrange College:
To transfer from LaGrange College to another school in the U.S., you must first apply and be accepted into the new school.  Once accepted you must submit a copy of the admission offer letter or email from your new school to a DSO in this the Office of Global Engagement.  Your new school may also have other documents or forms they require the Office of Global Engagement to complete before transferring your SEVIS record.  You will need to set a transfer out date after considering the following:  your program end date, the last date of your final semester, when to end your current OPT, or if you will need to travel out of the U.S. between transferring. Please consult with a DSO in this office and your new school before selecting a date. The Office of Global Engagement will send you an email confirming the date of transfer once it is set. 

Please remember that the transfer out date is when LaGrange College will no longer have access to your I-20 in SEVIS, your new school will take over this information.

Transfer Out Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What information am I responsible for submitting to the DSO in the Office of Global Engagement?  You should bring the following information:
  • Written confirmation of the acceptance from the transfer-in school
  • Contact information for the new school’s DSO
  • The SEVIS school code for the transfer-in school to ensure transfer to the correct school
Can I stay in the U.S. between programs?  You may stay in the U.S. while transferring if the SEVIS record transfer procedures are correctly followed. If the period between programs is longer than 5 months, your new school must issue a new initial I-20 with a new SEVIS number (you will need to pay the SEVIS fee again). You must leave the U.S. within your 60-day grace period and re-enter no earlier than 30 days before your new program start date.
How does my SEVIS transfer affect my travel plans?  If a student plans to travel outside the United States, time the transfer to take this into account. The student must re-enter the United States with a Form I-20 for the school that holds the Active or Initial record. Travel should meet the following requirements:
  • Started and completed before the transfer release date with a current Form I-20 from the transfer-out school
  • Started and completed after the transfer release date with Form I-20 from the transfer-in school
If the student leaves the United States before but cannot return until after the transfer release date, the DSO at the transfer-in school must send the student an updated Initial Form I-20 for re-entry into the United States.

A student who wants to travel outside the United States before or after the transfer release date and whose current SEVIS record is in Terminated status should obtain a new Form I-20 from the DSO at the transfer-in school and return to attend that school within 15 days of the program start date on the new Form I-20.

A student who is attending the transfer-in school with a reinstatement pending on the current SEVIS record must remember several important points.

Points to Remember
  • Should not travel outside the United States until USCIS adjudicates the reinstatement
  • If travel is unavoidable, DSO of transfer-in school should cancel reinstatement request on student’s SEVIS record and issue the student a new Form I-20 in order to return
  • Student forfeits all application fees paid to USCIS for reinstatement adjudication
  • A student with a valid visa does not typically need a new visa
Can I use my current visa even though I am changing schools?  As long as you have followed the proper transfer procedures, you will be able to use your current, unexpired visa to re-enter the U.S. even though it has your previous school name printed on it.
Can I request to transfer my SEVIS record after I have graduated?  You are eligible to request a SEVIS record transfer during the 60-day grace period following your program completion. If you are authorized for OPT you can request a SEVIS record transfer during your OPT period and within the 60-day grace period following your OPT expiration date.
How does my SEVIS transfer affect my OPT authorization?  If you are currently authorized for OPT, choose carefully when deciding what date you would like your SEVIS record transferred to your new school. OPT authorization ends on the transfer-out date, even if the EAD card is not yet expired. If you plan to work between programs while on OPT coordinate with your international student adviser at both schools to determine an appropriate transfer out date.
When do I need to report to my new school's international office?  You must report to your new school's International Office within 15 days of the program start date listed on your I-20.
Different schools have different check-in procedures; check your new schools admissions material for more information.

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