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- Transferring to Stony Brook
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.Eligibility
You are eligible to transfer to Stony Brook University if you:
- Are maintaining lawful F-1 status
- Meet all academic requirements for admission and
- 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. As each student's case may differ, contact Visa and Immigration Services for additional guidance.
Transfer-In ProcessStep 1: Inform your current school that you plan to transfer
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 2: Request an I-20 from SBU
Login to accessVIS and submit all required forms in the Request a Form I-20/DS-2019 tab.Step 3: Submit the Transfer-In Report
You will be prompted to submit the International Student Transfer Report on the SEVIS Transfer tab.Step 4: Receive your new I-20
Once your SEVIS record is released to us, we will issue you a new Transfer Pending I-20.Step 5: Complete the intake procedures in accessVIS
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 QuestionsCan I travel outside of the U.S. before starting at SBU?
Yes, you can. If you plan to travel abroad after completing your studies at your previous institution but before starting your program at Stony Brook University, you must re-enter the U.S. with:
- Form I-20 issued by Stony Brook University
- Valid Visa
- Valid Passport
Students with a "Transfer Pending" I-20 may return to the U.S. at any time before the program start date on the transfer I-20. You are considered to be a returning student and not a new student with an initial I-20, who is limited to entering the U.S. within a 30-day window before the I-20 program start date.
Be sure to use your Stony Brook issued I-20 at the port of entry.Do I need to apply for a new F-1 visa?
If you have a valid, unexpired visa in your passport, you do not need to apply for a new visa. You may use the visa you have, even though the previous school's name is on it.
If you have an expired visa and are traveling outside of the U.S., you will need to apply for a new visa (but you are not required to pay the SEVIS fee again).When can I start working on campus?
An F-1 student may only engage in on-campus employment at the school having jurisdiction over their SEVIS record.
In the SEVIS system, the transfer-out school has jurisdiction over the SEVIS record before the transfer release date, and the transfer-in school has jurisdiction over the SEVIS record on and after the transfer release date.
This means that once you receive your Stony Brook I-20, you can begin work here.
- Transferring from Stony Brook
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.Eligibility
- 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 the academic program completion at SBU, the last day of enrollment at SBU (if not graduating from SBU), your OPT authorization end date, or for students not completing OPT period, 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.Important considerations
- You do not have to 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 on your OPT period and starting a new program of study at a different school
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.
Upload the following items and indicate your preferred SEVIS Transfer Release Date:
What is the 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
- ‘Transfer In’ form from new school/program (if applicable)
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.What happens on the SEVIS Transfer Relase Date?
On the SEVIS transfer release date:
- The 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
Frequently Asked QuestionsCan I stay in the U.S. between programs?
You may stay in the U.S. in between programs/F-1 activities if the SEVIS record transfer procedures are correctly followed.
If the period between programs is longer than 5 months, your new school must issue a new initial I-20 with a new SEVIS number. You must leave the U.S. within your 60-day grace period and re-enter no earlier than 30 days before your new program start date.How does my SEVIS transfer affect my travel plans?
You must enter the U.S. on the I-20 from the new school. It is important to discuss your travel plans with your international student adviser at the new school so that an appropriate “transfer out” date and new I-20 issuance can be coordinated to facilitate your travel.Can I use my current visa even though I am changing schools?
As long as you have followed the proper transfer procedures, you will be able to use your current, unexpired F-1 visa to reenter the U.S. even though it has SBU printed on it.How does my SEVIS transfer affect my on-campus employment eligibility?
You may only work on campus at the school that has access to your SEVIS record. Check with the international student adviser at your new school to verify employment eligibility. Your SBU on-campus work authorization ends on the last day of your last enrolled semester or the transfer release date (if that is later).Can I request to transfer my SEVIS record after I have graduated?
You are eligible to request a SEVIS record transfer during the 60-day grace period following your program completion. However, be sure to submit the Transfer Out request in accessVIS at least 10 days before the end of your 60-day grace period. If you are authorized for OPT you can request a SEVIS record transfer during your OPT period and within the 60-day grace period following your OPT expiration date.How does my SEVIS transfer affect my OPT authorization?
OPT authorization ends on the “transfer out” date, even if the EAD card is not yet expired. If you plan to work between programs while on OPT, coordinate with your international student adviser at both schools to determine an appropriate “transfer out” date.Do I need to report to my new school’s international office?
Yes. You must report to your new school’s International Office within 15 days of the program start date listed on your I-20.