Transfer Procedures for F-1 Student Visa Holders

A student who is maintaining F-1 student status may transfer to another approved school by following United States Citizenship and Immigration Services mandated notification procedures, as outlined below. An F-1 student is permitted to remain in the U.S. when transferring schools or programs if classes begin within five (5) months of transferring out of the current school, or within five (5) months of the program completion date. A student is NOT allowed to remain in the U.S. if the gap between the end of their current term and the beginning of the new term at Radford University is more than five months.

A student who was NOT pursuing a full course of study at the current school is ineligible for school transfer and must apply for reinstatement OR depart the country and return as an initial entry with a new F-1 nonimmigrant status.

Transfer of schools is a notification process that takes place as an update in SEVIS, Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, with the active participation of the student, the transfer out school and the transfer in school.

To properly transfer schools, THE STUDENT must:

  1. Inform the International Student Advisor/Immigration Counselor/DSO at his/her current school of the intent to transfer to another school.
  2. When the student has received admission for the transfer-in school AND has made a final decision of their intent to transfer to that new school, the student must inform the official at their current school of the complete name of the transfer-in school to which he/she WILL definitely enroll.

THE CURRENT SCHOOL will then work with the student to determine the most appropriate "transfer-out" or "release" date for the SEVIS update. This release date is typically at the end of the term, period of OPT, or completion of studies. The current school will then update the student's record in SEVIS to "transfer-out" the student to the new school on that pre-determined release date.

On or shortly after the release date, THE TRANSFER-IN (NEW) SCHOOL will issue a "transfer pending" I-20 in SEVIS for the new student for the upcoming term. The new school cannot access the transferring student record in SEVIS until the transfer-out school has released the file in SEVIS. When the newly transferred student arrives on campus at the beginning of the academic term of admission, the transfer-in school can then issue the final I-20 and update SEVIS to indicate the student has indeed enrolled at the transfer-in school.

Please contact the immigration counselor at your school for further information or if you have questions.

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