J-1 Transfer

J-1 exchange visitors may move from one US institution to another. This is called a transfer of the visitor's J-1 "program" between institutions.

A transfer of J program requires synchronized steps to be taken in SEVIS by both the old institution and the new institution. As a result, in almost all cases, both institutions will require the J-1 status holder to submit forms (paper or electronic) to them relating to the transfer. What this means is that if you do not submit all the required forms, then one or both of the institution(s) cannot take the required steps in SEVIS to move the program, and if either one of the institutions cannot complete their steps in SEVIS, the program cannot move. 

Same Program Objective

To transfer between institutions, the exchange visitor must continue to be engaging in activities toward the "same program objective." If the program objective is going to change, then a transfer may not be available.

What is an "objective"? 

The dictionary defines Objective as 

  • A goal that is intended to be attained (and which is believed to be attainable)
  • A result that effort is directed toward achieving

In practical terms, an Exchange Visitor's objective might be

  • The completion of a research phase, or the acquisition of a research result 
  • The completion of a semester or other unit of teaching or instruction 
  • The establishment or acquisition of a specific skill (or skills) for which competency is desired

In general, the scholar who is transfering should be engaging in the same general area of research, teaching or instructing within the same discipline or specialty, or pursuing the same skills or expertise. An objective is not necessarily the CIP code assigned to the scholar on the Form DS-2019. In many instances, slight shifts between CIP codes might be permissible.


Transfer from another institution to Purdue (Transfer In)

The process begins with a request by the new host department at Purdue that the J-1 exchange visitor wants to join.

  1. The Department submits an Intake Form requesting an "Initial" J-1 Scholar request to the Purdue International Scholar Assistance (PISA) Team. The preparation of the Intake Form is done either by the Department Contact for the department, or the host. Please see our information about Working With Pisa.
  2. PISA submits the request into MyISS. This triggers electronic forms ("eforms") to the host supervisor at Purdue as well as to the incoming J-1 scholar
  3. Once all the eforms are submitted, International Scholar Services's counseling team reviews the preliminary information. We then request
    • A consistent program objective letter from the J-1 scholar's current supervisor at their current (non-Purdue) department and
    • Notify the ISS office at the current (non-Purdue) institution that a transfer of J-1 program is being requested
  4. Only once we receive both the consistent objective letter AND the current institution has released the scholar's J-1 program in SEVIS are we able to 'retrieve' the J-1 program and assign it to Purdue.

Please note that there time restrictions for the various J-1 categories when applying for a transfer.

Transfer from Purdue to another institution (Transfer Out)

The same collaboration between institutions must occur in order for a J-1 program to be transferred from Purdue to another US institution. 

  1. The J-1 Scholar must submit the Transfer Out eform in MyISS.
    1. Go to MyISS
    2. Login with Boilerkey
    3. Go to J-1 Scholar Services in the menu on the left
    4. Select "J- Transfer Out".
  2. To be eligible to "Transfer Out", the following all must be true:
    • Your current DS-2019 must list Purdue University as the sponsor, in Box 2
    • You must be seeking to join another US institution or organization
    • That new institution or organization also must be designated by the US Department of State to sponsor J-1 scholars (must have a "J-1 Program")
    • The new institution or organization must be designated to sponsor scholars in the same J-1 category as you currently hold (listed in Box 4 of your DS-2019)
  3. To begin the Transfer Out eform, you will need the following:
    1. Your current DS-2019
    2. Information about the new institution
      1. The insitution's name
      2. The institution's address
      3. The name and email address of a contact person within the International Office for the new institution, and
      4. The J-1 Program Number for your new institution (you must ask them for this - you normally will not find this in any online or other resource)
    3. A Completion Date
      • This is the date on which you will end your program activities at Purdue University.
        • This must be the same or earlier than the End Date in Box 3 of your DS-2019. 
      • A Release Date / Start Date.
        • This is the date on which you
          • Want to be released from Purdue University, and
          • Will begin your activities or appointment at the new institution. 
        • In general, you may specify a date between-
          • The day after your Completion Date, to
          • No more than 15 days after your Completion Date. (Note that some institutions will require a start date of earlier than 15 days, so check with that institution's international office regarding their policy in such cases.)
          • Your SEVIS Release Date must be prior to your Current End Date on your DS-2019
      • Note - in general, we recommend that scholars seeking to "Transfer Out" confirm their proposed Release Date and Start Date with the International Office of their new institution, before submitting the Transfer Out request. 
      • If your new institution has forms for our office to complete, you can upload that to MyISS using the Transfer Out eform, or provide the link to the online form (if applicable)
  4. Within five (5) business days, ISS will submit the release to SEVIS.
    • ISS will email notice of this to the new institution along with any forms requested. 
    • Upon the release date requested, SEVIS automatically releases the record to the new institution. After that date, ISS cannot cancel the transfer.
    • Upon arrival at the new institution, that institution will create a new DS 2019 for the new location, validating your new program in SEVIS.
    • At any time before the release date, the request CAN be cancelled.