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Transferring Your SEVIS Record to Vanderbilt

Transferring your F-1 or J-1 SEVIS Record

If you currently hold an F-1 or J-1 visa your SEVIS record must be transferred to Vanderbilt from your current school so that an I-20/DS-2019 can be issued.

Please keep in mind that this information applies only to the process of moving the SEVIS record that holds your F-1 or J-1 information from the U.S. institution you are currently attending (before or after program completion) to begin attendance at another U.S. institution. The phrase ‘school transfer’ or ‘SEVIS transfer’ does not refer to the transfer of academic credits or records between institutions.

Transfer Eligibility

Students in F-1 or J-1 status are eligible to transfer to or from Vanderbilt University if they are:

  • Admitted and otherwise eligible for an I-20 (F-1 status) or DS-2019 (J-1 status)
  • Maintaining current non-immigrant status
  • Currently enrolled full-time, on a vacation term, or participating in approved practical/academic training

Transfer Process

All new students must complete the I-20/DS-2019 request on the ISSS Portal. Be sure to complete the SEVIS Transfer questionnaire if you currently have an I-20 or DS-2019 from another school and you are eligible for a SEVIS transfer. You will need to complete the internal process at your current school to request a SEVIS transfer of your record to Vanderbilt. Once your SEVIS record has been released to Vanderbilt, ISSS can issue your transfer I-20 or DS-2019.

Admitted students in F-1 status should keep in mind that the SEVIS transfer must be done prior to the end of the 60-day grace period for students who have completed their academic program and are not on a period of post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT). If you are currently on an active period of post-completion OPT, your OPT will end on the date your SEVIS record is released to Vanderbilt. Be sure to consider this when determining your transfer release date.

Admitted students in J-1 status will need to have the SEVIS transfer fully completed prior to the end date on their current DS-2019. We can accept a J-1 record SEVIS transfer if you will continue at the same level of education or a higher level of education. Your current DS-2019 must be issued in a College/University Student category in order to transfer your SEVIS record to Vanderbilt.

For F-1 students: The SEVIS school code for Vanderbilt University is NOL214F10201000.

For J-1 students: The SEVIS program number for Vanderbilt University is P-1-00053.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact your assigned ISSS advisor.

Transition to Vanderbilt

Transfer students who remain in the the U.S. between institutions:

  • Students will receive the Vanderbilt I-20/DS-2019 upon completion of the SEVIS transfer process.

Transfer students who will travel abroad and re-enter the U.S. before Vanderbilt studies begin:

  • Request the new SEVIS I-20/DS-2019 before departure from the U.S.
  • If the current F-1 visa stamp in your passport is still valid, a new visa is not required. J-1 students who transfer their SEVIS records will need to apply for a new visa in order to enter the U.S. on the DS-2019 issued by the new program sponsor.
  • Re-entry to the U.S. is possible with the Vanderbilt-issued transfer I-20 or DS-2019, valid passport and valid F-1/J-1 visa stamp.
  • If a new visa is needed for reentry, the transfer student must apply using the Vanderbilt SEVIS I-20/DS-2019 and financial documentation

Timeline and Limitations

Transfers must be done within the deadlines established by USCIS, otherwise the student will be “out of status”

  • Transfer students must enroll at Vanderbilt in the term immediately following previous school’s last term, summer vacation, or practical training
  • F-1 students in their 60-day grace period must initiate the SEVIS transfer prior to the end date of the grace period following completion a course of study or practical/academic training; the student is eligible for transfer through the end of the grace period.
  • J-1 students must complete the SEVIS transfer prior to the end date on their current DS-2019.
  • F-1 students must begin their program at the new school at the next available term or within 5 months of SEVIS Release Date, whichever is sooner.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does Vanderbilt have a transfer-in form that my current school needs to fill out?
    • No, Vanderbilt does not have a transfer-in form.
  • When is a good date to transfer my SEVIS record to Vanderbilt?
    • Your SEVIS record must be transferred to Vanderbilt within 60 days of your I-20 program end date or your OPT/STEM OPT end date. Discuss your transfer timeline with your current international office.
    • Important considerations in choosing a transfer date:
      • Your SEVIS transfer date must be no earlier than 5 months before your Vanderbilt program start date.
      • The processing time for I-20s is 5-7 business days and you must have your I-20 before your Vanderbilt program begins.
      • Your OPT/STEM OPT will automatically end on the date that your SEVIS record is transferred and you will forfeit any remaining OPT/STEM OPT time.
  • Why does my new I-20 say “transfer pending”?
    • This is normal and means that your SEVIS transfer was processed. Once you complete your online SEVIS check-in with ISSS, you will receive an I-20 that says “continued attendance.”
  • Can I travel internationally between programs?
    • Yes, you can travel internationally. However, once your SEVIS record is transferred, you must have your Vanderbilt I-20 to re-enter the U.S.
  • Can I travel using a visa stamp from my previous institution?
    • If your F-1 visa stamp is still valid, you may continue to use it to enter the U.S. until its expiration. It is okay if your old school’s name is on your visa.
  • If I depart the U.S., how soon can I re-enter?
    • You are not subject to the 30-day entry restriction (entering no earlier than 30 days before your program starts) and can enter the U.S. at any point before your program
  • Can I remain in the U.S. between programs?
    • Yes, once your SEVIS record is transferred, you may remain in the U.S. or you may travel and re-enter the U.S. between programs.
  • Do I need to repay the SEVIS I-901 fee?
    • No, you don’t need to pay the fee again since your SEVIS ID number will not change.
  • When can I start working on campus?
    • You are eligible to begin on-campus employment after your Vanderbilt I-20 is issued and you complete your online Student SEVIS check-in with ISSS.
  • Do I have to attend international student orientation?
    • All international students coming on an F or J student visa who are new to Vanderbilt , including transfer students, are required to attend an international student orientation.
      • Undergraduate transfer students must attend Transfer Student Orientation during which ISSS will present a short session. Participation in the International Student Orientation hosted by Residential Colleges is optional. ISSS will send information about the required Maintenance of Status session.
      • Graduate and professional students must attend an in-person orientation hosted by ISSS. See details and dates
  • Whom should I contact about transfer credit?
    • If you are an undergraduate transfer student or have transfer credits to be evaluated, more information on that process is available here. Please contact the University Registrar’s Office with questions.