Transferring your SEVIS Record from another U.S. School

Overview & Eligibility for SEVIS Transfer

If your F-1 or J-1 status is currently 'SEVIS Active' at another institution, you may be able to transfer your SEVIS record from your current school to UChicago. A “transfer” of your F-1/J-1 SEVIS record from one education institution in the US to another, in order to continue your F-1/J-1 status. The SEVIS transfer is for immigration purposes only and is completely separate from transferring academic credits to the University.

Current UChicago Students Moving to a Higher Degree Level

Completing one academic program and starting a new one at the University of Chicago is similar to a SEVIS transfer, but is considered a change of education level/program. The timing and advantages of moving from one program to another at UChicago are the same as those for transfer students.

Eligibility for SEVIS Transfer

F-1 STUDENTS:
  • You have continually maintained F-1/J-1 status at your current school (e.g. no status violations)
  • You are currently in SEVIS 'Active' F-1 status (this includes periods of post-completion OPT) and have continually maintained status for the duration of your F-1 program
    • NOTE: We cannot accept 'Completed' record.  It is unlikely we can accept 'Terminated' records.  Check with OIA before having your current school transfer your SEVIS record.
  • Your UChicago program begins within 5 months of your current I-20 end date or EAD end date (if on post-completion OPT).  Visit the UChicago academic calendar for official quarter start dates.
    • Note: For transfers students, the UChicago start date must be the official first day of the quarter that courses begin (e.g. 09/25/2017). Transfer student start dates cannot include boot camps, English programs, or other pre-program activities.
    • For students starting in Autumn 2017, your I-20 start date would be 9/25/2017
  • Your current school confirms you are eligible by completing the UChicago Transfer-In Form (linked below)
J-1 STUDENTS:
  • You are currently in SEVIS 'Active' J-1 status (this includes periods of post-completion AT) and have continually maintained status for the duration of your J-1 program
    • NOTE: We cannot accept 'Completed' or 'Terminated' SEVIS records.
  • Your UChicago academic program begins immediately after the DS-2019 program end date from your previous program. Visit the UChicago academic calendar for official quarter start dates.
    • Note: For transfers students, the UChicago start date must be the official first day of the quarter that courses begin (e.g. 09/26/2016). Transfer student start dates cannot include boot camps, English programs, or other pre-program activities.
  • You are continuing the same academic objective you had on your previous DS-2019 at the same or higher degree level (e.g. MA to MA, or MA to PhD).
  • Your current school confirms you are eligible by completing the UChicago Transfer-In Form (linked below)

Note about J-1 transfers: not all J-1 students will be eligible for SEVIS transfers.  You must consult with your current school and OIA to review your J-1 transfer eligibility and confirm timing.

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Advantages to transferring your SEVIS record:

There are several advantages to transferring your SEVIS record, including:

  • 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).

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SEVIS Transfer Timing

F-1 students: OIA must receive your transferred record within 60 days of your I-20 end date or EAD end date (if on post-completion OPT).  Consult with your current school to determine transfer timing.  A few reminders:

  • Your existing F-1 or J-1 SEVIS record must be transferred from your current institution to the University of Chicago within the 60-day Grace Period following your I-20 end date
  • If you are finishing OPT, you can transfer your SEVIS record during the 60 day grace period following OPT.
  • If you transfer your record while on post-completion OPT, your OPT will automatically end and any remaining OPT time will be forfeit.

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 both your old school and UChicago to determine J-1 transfer eligibility and transfer timing.

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Steps to transfer your record:

Complete Part I of the UChicago transfer-in form and submit it to the international student office at your current school. Be sure to tell your current adviser when you want your SEVIS record to be transferred.

  1. Your international student adviser must email the completed form to our office according to the instructions on the form.
  2. OIA electronically accesses your SEVIS record after your transfer date to create your new I-20 or DS-2019.
  3. In addition to complete these steps, you MUST follow all other steps on our admitted student website; submitting your Financial Resources Statement (FRS), financial documents and passport copy to your unit.
  4. After you have received your UChicago I-20/DS-2019, you must submit an online check-in form within three business days of arriving in Chicago, as well as complete and online international student orientation.  Information about both of these is available on the admitted student link above.

We cannot issue your new I-20 or DS-2019 until your SEVIS record has been electronically transferred from your previous institution to UChicago and the release date indicated on the transfer-in form has been reached. Please consult with your current international student adviser regarding the transfer date.

You must have the UChicago I-20 or DS-2019 before starting courses at UChicago.

Please communicate with our office to make sure we receive the transfer-in form and are aware that you need to transfer your SEVIS record. You can e-mail us at international-affairs@uchicago.edu. Let us know your name, your UCID (if known), and to which program you have been admitted.

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