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  • Transferring to Stony Brook

    Transfer-In Students

    Students who are admitted to Stony Brook University from another U.S. college, university, high school or language program on F-1 status are considered “transfers”. This refers to the transfer of the student’s SEVIS record from one institution to another.



    You are eligible to transfer to Stony Brook University if you:

    1. Are maintaining lawful F-1 status,
    2. Meet all academic requirements for admission and
    3. Submit documentation necessary for the issuance of an I-20.

    Please Note: Your course of study at Stony Brook must begin during the next available term, or within 5 months of the end of your course of study/OPT participation at your transfer-out school, whichever is earlier.  Because each student's case may differ, contact Visa and Immigration Services for additional guidance .


    Transfer-In Process

    Step 1: Once you’ve applied to SBU, login to accessVIS and submit all required forms in the Request a Form I-20/DS-2019 tab. You also must submit the International Student Transfer Report on the SEVIS Transfer tab.
    Step 2: Upon admission to SBU, inform your current/previous International Student Advisor you plan to transfer. We will contact him/her to release your SEVIS record to Stony Brook University. Stony Brook cannot issue you an I-20/DS-2019 until your SEVIS record is released.
    Step 3: Stony Brook will issue you a Transfer-Pending I-20/DS-2019.
    Step 4: Complete the Immigration Intake procedures in accessVIS and attend the New International Student Orientation.

    Important Note:
    Students who leave the United States between transfers must use Stony Brook University’s I-20 when arriving for inspection at the port-of-entry. Please keep all previous I-20 for Intake procedures.


    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Can I travel outside of the U.S.?
    Do I need to apply for a new F-1 visa?
  • Transferring from Stony Brook

    Transfer-Out Students

    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 that Visa and Immigration Services transfers or releases your F-1 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 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)

    The U.S. government considers all the following examples to be possible “SEVIS transfer” situations:

    • Completing a program at one school and starting a new program at a different school
    • Currently studying at one school and deciding (before completing program) to change to a new school.
    • Currently doing OPT and starting a new program of study at a different school


    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 (a) the academic program completion at SBU, (b) the last day of enrollment at SBU (if not graduating from SBU), (c)  your OPT authorization end date, or for students not completing OPT period, (d) the requested SEVIS I-20, transfer/release date

    NOTE: 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.


    How to Apply

    If you've been admitted to a U.S. institution and wish to have your SEVIS record transferred, you must complete the Transfer Out Request in accessVIS.  Uploading the following items and indicating your preferred SEVIS Transfer Release Date:

    • Acceptance Letter issued by the U.S. school or institution you wish to transfer to.
    • A receipt from Student Accounts showing all outstanding balances have been paid. Need help finding your Paperless Billing Statement, click here!
    • ‘Transfer In’ form from new school/program (if applicable).


    What is the SEVIS Transfer Release Date?

    Only one school at a time can access your F-1 SEVIS record. On the SEVIS I-20 transfer release date, SEVIS access “transfers” from Stony Brook to your new school. The SEVIS transfer affects your F-1 benefits, including employment, travel, and I-20 validity.

    Although the transfer release date is often at the end of the academic semester, your SEVIS record can be released at any point the above noted criteria are satisfied and an earlier release date is determined based on your new institution’s academic calendar.

    On the SEVIS transfer release date:

    • The Stony Brook’s VIS office loses access to your electronic SEVIS record
    • Your new school gains access to your electronic SEVIS record, and can now create your new I-20.
    • OPT authorization is cancelled (regardless of end date printed on EAD)
    • On-campus work authorization is cancelled
    • The SBU I-20 is no longer valid for travel to the U.S.

    Frequently Asked Questions