F-1: School Transfer

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 U.S., 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 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  U.S., 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 U.S. for the time period between programs (as long as you begin the next available session within 5 months)
  • You may travel outside the U.S. during the transfer pending period
    • If your U.S. visa is still valid, you may use it to reenter the U.S. (even if it lists another school's name)
    • You may use the "transfer pending" I-20 to enter the U.S. once before the I-20 start date
    • You may enter the U.S. earlier than 30 days before the I-20 start date
    • After entering the U.S. 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

If you wish to transfer your SEVIS record to Purdue University, you must complete both the Notification of Intent (NOI) and the SEVIS Transfer In Request electronic forms in order to inform Purdue 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, and complete any paperwork that school requires in order to transfer your SEVIS record.

Procedure to Transfer SEVIS Record to Purdue University West Lafayette: 

  • Complete the Notification of Intent in myISS
  • Complete the SEVIS Transfer In Request in myISS
  • 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 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 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 to Another U.S. Institution

If you wish to transfer your SEVIS record from Purdue to another SEVP-certified school, you must work with both Purdue ISS and the new school's ISS office in order to complete the process.

Important Considerations when Transferring Out

On the SEVIS transfer/release date:

  • Purdue ISS loses access to your electronic SEVIS record

  • Your new school gains access to your electronic SEVIS record; your new school can create your new I-20/DS-2019 only after the SEVIS transfer/release date

  • On-campus work authorization is no longer permissible (if you have been a current student at Purdue)

  • Any OPT authorization is cancelled, regardless of end date printed on EAD (if you have been on OPT)

  • The Purdue I-20 is no longer valid for travel to the U.S.


Procedure to Transfer SEVIS Record from Purdue University West Lafayette to Another Institution

  • Discuss your SEVIS release/transfer date with a Purdue ISS Immigration Counselor within 45 days of program completion
  • Gather the required documents and information
    • Admission letter from new U.S. institution
    • Transfer-related documents, if required by new school (they may require a "Transfer In" or "Transfer Eligibility", or similarly named document)
    • New school's SEVIS code (contact your new school if you do not know the code)
  • Complete the Purdue ISS SEVIS Release Request Form
  • Combine all required documents into a single PDF file, then submit the single SEVIS "Release" Packet to ISS using the myISS portal.  Log in to the portal using your BoilerKey credentials, click on F-1 and J-1 students servides, then click on Upload Student Request for F-1s.  Follow the directions to electronically submit the packet.
  • Allow 14 calendar days for Purdue ISS processing
  • After your SEVIS record is released, contact your new school's ISS office for instructions on receiving your new I-20 and on how to complete the SEVIS transfer process


Important Note: All employment (on-campus at Purdue or off-campus on OPT) must end on or before the effective SEVIS release date.


Cancelling your SEVIS Transfer

If you wish to cancel your SEVIS transfer, you must notify Purdue 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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