F-1: School Transfer

Learn about the transfer process between SEVP-certified schools for students maintaining a valid F-1 status.

SEVIS Transfer Overview

A student who is maintaining valid F-1 status may transfer from one SEVP-certified school to another. The transfer process electronically moves a student’s SEVIS record while retaining the same SEVIS identification number, and does not imply the transfer of academic records. A student who is completing or leaving her/his current program with confirmed arrangements to continue studies at another SEVP-certified U.S. institution, and who wishes to retain her/his SEVIS number, must complete the SEVIS transfer process.

Examples of SEVIS transfers:

  • when a student transfers to another school in the middle of their program to complete their degree at another institution, or
  • when a student completes one degree and plans to begin a new program or degree at another school.
  • when a student has completed a program and is pursuing OPT in the US, but will start a new degree program at another institution

SEVIS Transfer Eligibility

A student may be eligible for a SEVIS transfer if:

  • Student is maintaining legal F-1 status at his or her current school
  • Student has been admitted to by the “transfer-in” school
  • Student notifies current school of intention to transfer SEVIS record, allowing sufficient processing time for that school’s international office as well as discussing the requested transfer date and provides all required documents to complete transfer request within 60 days of program completion
  • New program at the “transfer-in” school must begin at the next available term or session
  • New program start date must be at new school’s next available session (fall, winter or spring) and within 5 months of the following:
    • academic program completion
    • last day of enrollment (if not graduating)
    • OPT authorization end date
    • For students not completing OPT period, the requested SEVIS transfer date

Important Guidance for Time Period Between Programs

If you are transferring your SEVIS record between SEVP-approved schools in the US, there are important immigration and travel policies you should be aware of for the time period between programs.

Travel with Transfer Pending:

  • You are eligible to remain in the US for the time period between programs (as long as you begin the next available session within 5 months of the release date)
  • You may travel outside the US during the transfer pending period
    • If your US visa is still valid, you may use it to reenter the US (even if it lists another school’s name)
    • You may use the “transfer pending” I-20 to enter the US once before the I-20 start date
    • You may enter the US earlier than 30 days before the I-20 start date
    • After entering the US once on a “transfer pending” I-20, it is not recommended to travel internationally again until you have received your “transfer complete” I-20 with travel signature


  • On-campus employment
    • Students interested in on-campus employment should discuss options with the ISS office of the university that holds their SEVIS record
  • Off-campus employment

Authorization to work off-campus (ex. on OPT) ends when a student transfers. Students should consider the SEVIS transfer date very carefully and discuss options with the ISS office of the university that holds their SEVIS record.

“Transfer In” to Purdue University Northwest

If you wish to transfer your SEVIS record to Purdue University Northwest, you must complete both the Notification of Intent (NOI) and the SEVIS Transfer In Request electronic forms in order to inform Purdue Northwest ISS of your intention to transfer your SEVIS record. In addition, you must work with your current school’s international student office to determine the date your SEVIS record will be released to Purdue University Northwest, and complete any paperwork that school requires in order to transfer your SEVIS record.

Procedure to Transfer SEVIS Record to Purdue University Northwest:

  • Discuss your intention to transfer schools with the Designated School Official at your current school and request that s/he complete their portion of the SEVIS Transfer In Request
  • On or after the SEVIS transfer date, and based on receipt of all required documents, Purdue Northwest ISS will be able to access your SEVIS record and will create a “Transfer Pending” I-20
  • You must officially check in with the ISS office within 15 days of the program start date listed on your “Transfer Pending” I-20
  • Purdue Northwest ISS will complete the F-1 transfer process in SEVIS and issue you a new I-20 reflecting the transfer completion

“Transfer-Out” from Purdue University Northwest to Another US-based Institution

If you wish to transfer your SEVIS record from Purdue University Northwest to another SEVP-certified school, you must work with both Purdue Northwest  ISS and the new school’s ISS offices to complete the process. Follow this process to initiate the electronic transfer of your SEVIS record.

Important Considerations when Transferring Out

On the SEVIS transfer/release date:

  • The SEVIS Release Date is the date on which your SEVIS record will electronically transfer to the new institution. The new institution cannot issue a new I-20 until after the release date.
    • If you are unsure what date to select, consult with an immigration counselor through Contact Student Services before submitting the e-form.
  • You must begin classes at your new institution at the next available session (fall, winter or spring) within five months of ceasing your studies at Purdue Northwest or within 5 months of the expiration date of your EAD card if you are currently on OPT.
    • ON or AFTER the release date, you cannot change the request in any way.
  • You CANNOT continue to work on the Purdue University Northwest campus on or after the release date.
  • Your OPT authorization must end by the release date.
    • You can no longer work on or after the SEVIS release date, even if the transfer date is earlier than the expiration date on your EAD card.

Procedure to Transfer SEVIS Record from Purdue University Northwest to Another Institution

  • Discuss your SEVIS release/transfer date with a Purdue Northwest ISS Immigration Counselor within 45 days of program completion or the expiration of employment authorization
  • Gather the following documents and information in advance:
    • Letter of acceptance or admission to the new institution
      • This must be proof of unconditional admission to a program at another SEVIS approved institution at the next available session (fall, winter or spring) and within five months of release date.
    • Contact your new institution for their requirements to transfer
    • If on OPT, copy of EAD card.
    • Requested SEVIS Release Date
    • Name and SEVIS School Code of new school, college, university, or institution
    • Scheduled Start Date of New Academic Program
    • International Student Advisor/DSO at New Institution
      • Name
      • Phone number
      • Email address
  • Contact iss@pnw.edu informing of your intent to transfer out of Purdue University Northwest
  • Allow 14 calendar days from the date you submit a completed e-form.
  • Check your email in case there are any questions during the e-form review. You will be contacted when processing is complete. The email will include the scheduled transfer out date and any completed forms required by the new institution (transfer in form).

Cancelling your SEVIS Transfer

If you wish to cancel your SEVIS transfer, you must notify Purdue University Northwest ISS prior to the release date. Once the release date is reached, the new institution to which you intend to transfer to will gain full access to your SEVIS record and is then responsible for administering your program.

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