Transferring Your F-1 Status & SEVIS Record

If you are a student in valid F-1 status, you may be able to transfer from one SEVP-certified school to another. This is known as transferring your SEVIS record. Please note that transferring your SEVIS record only pertains to your F-1 status and does not include transferring of any academic records or credit hours.

You may wish to transfer your F-1 SEVIS record if you complete a degree at one school and have been accepted into a new degree program at another SEVP-certified school. If you transfer your same F-1 SEVIS record, you will not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again for the new academic program.

In general, to be eligible to transfer your F-1 SEVIS record from one institution to another, you must:

  • Be maintaining F-1 status at the current school by pursuing a full course of study, or be engaged in post-completion optional practical training (OPT) until the transfer release date; and
  • Be accepted into a degree program by another SEVP-certified school.

You must work with your current school and the new school in order to coordinate the SEVIS transfer. You and both of your schools must decide on the appropriate SEVIS transfer release date. The SEVIS transfer release date is the date that your SEVIS record is transferred from the transfer-out school to the transfer-in school.

If you are currently employed through a period of authorized OPT, your employment authorization will end on the SEVIS transfer release date.

Transferring F-1 Status to MUSC

After you have been accepted into an MUSC program, you must go through the F-1 sponsorship application process with the Center for Global Health. A question within the Initial I-20 record in Terra Dotta will ask if you are currently in the US in another status. If you indicate that you are in the US in F-1 status, the Initial I-20 record will be converted to a Transfer I-20 record in Terra Dotta. Within the Transfer I-20 record, you will be required to request a recommendation from a Designated School Official (DSO) at your current academic institution (the transfer-out school). This recommendation will provide certain information about your current F-1 status and will also provide the SEVIS transfer release date.

We cannot issue the Form I-20 from MUSC until the SEVIS transfer release date. This is the date that your SEVIS record is released from the transfer-out school to the transfer-in school. Once your SEVIS record has been released to MUSC, we can issue a new Form I-20 showing MUSC as your program sponsor and the details of your new academic program. If you have F-2 dependents already here you with you in the US, their SEVIS records will automatically transfer when your SEVIS record is released. You will also receive new Forms I-20 for your dependents.

Travel outside of the US between your academic programs may have an impact on the SEVIS transfer process. You must inform CGH of any out of country travel plans that coincide with your SEVIS transfer. If you leave the United States before the transfer release date, but cannot return until after the transfer release date, we may need to send you an updated Form I-20 for re-entry into the US.

Transferring F-1 Status from MUSC to Another Institution

If you want to transfer your F-1 SEVIS record to another SEVP-certified school in the United States, you must submit the Transfer Out request through your Terra Dotta portal. You will be required to provide a copy of your acceptance letter from the new institution. We will notify you by email if your Transfer Out request is approved and once the SEVIS transfer has been initiated.

On the SEVIS transfer release date, the responsibility for your SEVIS record transfers to the transfer-in school. MUSC will no longer have access to your SEVIS record to make changes or print a new Form I-20 after the SEVIS transfer release date. The transfer release date will be the completion of the academic semester unless a different date is requested.

In addition, your Form I-20 from MUSC will no longer be valid after the transfer release date. However, it is very important that you keep all Forms I-20 issued to you during your time in the US in F-1 status. In other words, do not discard any Forms I-20, even if they are expired or invalid. You may need to provide copies of these Forms I-20 at a later time to provide proof that you maintained valid F-1 status.

You must contact the Designated School Official (DSO) in the international office at the transfer-in school as soon as possible to discuss procedures and requirements for completing the SEVIS transfer process as well as enrolling in the new institution. In addition, you must inform the transfer-in school of any out of country travel plans. If you leave the United States before the transfer release date, but you will not return to the US until after the transfer release date, the DSO at the transfer-in school may need to send you an updated Form I-20 for re-entry into the US.

If your plans change and you decide not to transfer your SEVIS record, you can request a cancellation of the transfer prior to the transfer release date.