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International Student Services

F-1 Transfers

The information below is for students who are attending high school, college, or university in the U.S. on an F-1 visa.

F-1 Transfer Steps

  1. Apply to and be admitted at Southeastern.
  2. Inform the international advisor at your current school of your plans to transfer to Southeastern. You also need to show him/her your admission letter to Southeastern.  The deadline for F-1 students to request a transfer is 60 days after the program completion date or OPT end date, whichever is later.
  3. Your advisor will complete the Advisors-Report-SE and submit it to International Student Services (ISS) at Southeastern. This form can be sent electronically to iss@se.edu. Your advisor will also set your current SEVIS record to be electronically released to Southeastern on a mutually agreed upon date of release. The release date is usually the last day of enrollment at your current school.
  4. ISS will issue a new “transfer pending” Form I-20 from Southeastern within two weeks following the transfer release date.

F-1 Transfer Release Date

When you decide to leave one school to attend Southeastern, your SEVIS record must be electronically transferred to Southeastern on a specific date. This is called the “release date.”  Important points about the release date:

  • The transfer release date must be no earlier than 5 months before the new program start date and no later than 60 days after the expiration date on the Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
  • After the release date has passed, you may not continue working on OPT, even if the EAD has not expired. The release date, in effect, cancels the EAD.
  • You may request a release date in the future and continue working on OPT until that date as long as the EAD has not expired.
  • Beginning a full-time program of study while on OPT is NOT allowed.  If you have been admitted to Southeastern while on OPT, the remainder of the OPT (if any) must be forfeited before beginning classes at Southeastern.
  • If the time period between the OPT end date and the start date at Southeastern will be more than five months, please meet with your current international advisor to discuss your options.
  • F-1 regulations allow you to work in the summer on the campus that maintains supervision of you SEVIS record, so you may want to take this into consideration when choosing your release date.
  • You will not be able to continue on-campus employment at your current institution after your release date in SEVIS.

F-1 Transfer Pending Travel or Summer in the US

  • F-1 transfer students are eligible to remain in the U.S. in the summer between two programs
  • F-1 transfer students may travel and re-enter the U.S. any time between school programs. However, transfer students must re-enter with their Southeastern I-20 and not the previous school’s I-20.
  • F-1 students who are transferring from another U.S. school to Southeastern may enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the program start date.
  • If your current F-1 visa is valid, it can be used for new entry to the U.S. prior to the start of your new program at Southeastern.
  • It is NOT necessary to visit the U.S. consulate/embassy for a new F-1 visa unless the current F-1 student visa in your passport has expired or will expire before date of re-entry to the U.S.
  • If your current F-1 visa is expired, you must apply for a new F-1 visa prior to returning to the U.S., using the I-20 from Southeastern.
  • You must show the following documents at the Port of Entry when you return to the U.S.:
    • Passport (valid at least 6 months into the future)
    • Valid F-1 student visa
    • Southeastern transfer pending I-20

F-1 Transfer Completion

  • Attend the mandatory international student orientation at Southeastern for a document check and other steps.
  • Southeastern will complete the F-1 transfer in SEVIS and issue you a new I-20 noting the transfer completion.
  • Important: your transfer must be completed within 15 days of your start date at Southeastern.