Admission to a new school does not by itself authorize an international student in F-1 status to begin studying full-time at the new school. You must request your current school (UTRGV) to transfer/release your F-1 U.S. government SEVIS I-20 record to your new school before you can begin full-time studies there. The U.S. government calls this process a “SEVIS Transfer.” (It is different from an “academic transfer.”)
There are several benefits to a SEVIS transfer:
- You do not pay the $200 SEVIS fee again
- You can remain in the U.S. in between programs
- You maintain the same current SEVIS ID number (which may make you eligible for certain benefits at your new school earlier, such as CPT eligibility)
Eligibility for a SEVIS Record Transfer
- You must currently be maintaining F-1 status
- You must have an offer of admission from a new school
- If you already graduated or completed OPT, you must still be within your 60-day grace period
- The start of classes at your new school must be within 5 months of one of the following:
– Academic program completion at UTRGV
– Last day of enrollment at UTRGV (if not graduating from UTRGV)
– OPT authorization end date
– For students not completing OPT period, the requested SEVIS I-20 transfer/release date
If the period of time between F-1 activities is longer than 5 months, your SEVIS record is not eligible for transfer. Your new school must issue a new initial I-20 with a new SEVIS number.
Transfer Out Process
1. Choose the date that you would like to have your SEVIS record released.
- This day must be within 60 days of the end of your program at UTRGV or the end of your OPT. Or you may also transfer out in between semesters. You can end OPT early and transfer your record, as well.
- You may no longer work once your SEVIS record has been released.
- Your UTRGV I-20 will no longer be valid for re-entry to the U.S. once your record has been transferred.
2. You will require the following information to initiate your SEVIS Transfer
- Admissions letter to the new school
- SEVIS School Code for your new school
- Your requested SEVIS transfer/release date
- “Transfer In” form from new school (if they require a “Transfer In” or “Transfer Eligibility” or similar named form–not all schools require this form)