Transferring SEVIS Record to a New School

Overview

If you plan to enroll in another full-time program soon after your last enrollment or end date or the end of your OPT or AT, you may be able to trasnfer your SEVIS record to your new school.  Do note that this information pertains to your F-1/J-1 immigration record only and will have no impact on your academic record.  Contact your academic department if you have questions about transferring your academic record or course credits.

Advantages:

Transferring your SEVIS record has a number of advantages. If you are eligible for the transfer, advantages include:

  • You keep your current SEVIS ID number and F-1 record
  • You do not have to pay the SEVIS fee again
  • If your F-1 visa is still valid, you can continue to use it until its expiration date.  It is OK if your old school's name is on your visa.
  • You will be allowed to remain in the U.S. or travel in and out of the U.S. in between programs
  • You are not subject to the 30-day entry restriction (entering no earlier than 30 days before your program starts) and can enter the U.S. at any point before your program
  • Work authorization benefits: As long as you are otherwise eligible and enrolled in an eligible program, you may be able to apply for off-campus employment through OPT, CPT or AT at the new school, as you will have already built up enough full-time study on your SEVIS record to qualify (one year of full time enrollment).

    Policies on work authorization do vary from school to school and you will need to work with your new school for specific work authorization eligibility questions.

Transfer Eligibility Requirements and Timing

To be eligible for a SEVIS transfer, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Be accepted into a SEVIS-approved institution for a full-time program
     
  2. F-1: Begin your courses at the new school within 5 months of your last UChicago enrollment or post-completion OPT end date . 

    J-1: Begin/continue your courses immediately following your DS-2019 end date.
     
  3. Transfer your record within the required timeframe:

F-1 students: we will have to transfer your record within 60 days of your I-20 end date or within 60 days of your OPT completion. Your courses (not orientation) at the new school must begin within 5 months of your I-20 end date or post-completion OPT end date.

SEVIS f-1 timeline_0.PNG

J-1 Students: Your record must be transferred before your current DS-2019 end date. It will typically be transferred on the last or second to last date. There cannot be a gap between program dates.  You will need to work closely with your new school to determine J-1 transfer eligibility and transfer timing.

SEVIS J-1 timeline_0.PNG

SEVIS Transfer Procedures

As you transfer your SEVIS record, you will need to work with international offices at both the University of Chicago and your new school.  Contact your new school to find out about their transfer-in requirements.

Instructions for Transferring your SEVIS Record From UChicago

  1. Work with your current school to choose a Transfer Release Date, which is the date we will release your SEVIS record to you new school (detailed explanation below). 
  2. Submit the Transfer-Out Form online at least two weeks before your proposed transfer date.

If you are on post-completion OPT/AT, your work authorization will end as soon as we transfer your record. You should plan the timing carefully if you are still working under OPT or AT.  

Choosing a Transfer Release Date:

The Transfer Release Date is the date UChicago releases your electronic SEVIS record to your new school.  On the transfer release date, your new school will have access to your F-1/J-1 record and will create your new I-20 or DS-2019.  After your transfer release date, UChicago no longer has access to your record and your UChicago immigration sponsorship ends. The new school cannot create your new I-20/DS-2019 until after the release date. Because of this, there are several points to keep in mind:

Transferring At the End of Your Academic Program

You can choose a transfer release date any time in the 60-day grace period following your I-20 end date (30 days for J-1 students).  You cannot transfer your record before the academic term ends, as your legal eligibility to study at UChicago would also end.

While on/finishing OPT:

You can transfer your record during post-completion OPT or in the 60-day grace period following your OPT end date.  However, transferring your SEVIS record while on OPT will automatically cancel any remaining OPT time, even if the date on your EAD is in the future.  If you are on OPT, you should wait to have your record transferred until after you are sure that you are finished working.  Contact your new school for guidance on timing.

Summer Travel in Between Programs

If you will be traveling internationally in between your UChicago program and your new program, you will most likely need the new school's I-20/DS-2019 to re-enter the U.S.or apply for a new F-1/J-1 entry visa.  Make sure to ask your new school's international office about travel timing and when you can expect to receive the new document.

New School's Timeline

Before selecting a transfer date, contact your school's international office to confirm how long it will take them to create a new I-20/DS-2019.  Schools often need 1-2 weeks to create a new document and you will need your new document before the program begins.  Consult with the new program about the transfer release date before submitting the form above.