You’ve made it through the first big step and have been accepted to UB! Before you can transfer to UB from another U.S. school, be sure you understand how a transfer may affect your immigration status.
If you are already in the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 student, it may be possible to transfer your SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) record from your current school to UB.
If you are a SEVIS transfer student, you will receive a “Transfer Pending from (current school)” I-20 instead of an “Initial” I-20.
To be eligible for a SEVIS transfer, you must:
Your transfer release date is the day your current school releases your SEVIS record to your new school.
The only exception to the requirement to enroll during the next available session is when it is a summer vacation for which you are eligible. To be eligible for this exception, you must have been enrolled at a U.S. school for a full academic year AND you must enroll within five months of your transfer release date.
The rules for J-1 students’ transfers are different than for F-1 students.
If you are a J-1 student, you will receive advice on what you need to do from UB’s Office of International Student Services.
If you are not eligible for a SEVIS transfer, you must depart the U.S. and re-enter with an Initial I-20.
You can transfer to another school during the 60-day grace period after your OPT, as long as the transfer release date occurs within the grace period.
You must begin classes within 5 months of your transfer release date or the date your OPT authorization ends, whichever is earlier.
Your OPT work authorization will end on your transfer release date. Therefore, if you wish to complete your OPT, your transfer release date must be after your OPT ends.
If you meet all the conditions for a SEVIS transfer, you do not need to pay the SEVIS fee again.
If you are already in the U.S. on an F-1 (or J-1) visa, you can study at UB on the same visa.
Visas are entry permits that allow you to enter the U.S. from anywhere in the world, as long as your visa and number of entries have not expired, and all of your other immigration documents are in order. Visas do not determine how long you can stay in the U.S. so, unless you travel abroad before joining UB, you can study at UB without renewing your visa even if it has expired.
Yes, but you must be careful to re-enter the U.S. using the I-20 (or DS-2019 for J-1 students) issued by the school that currently has your SEVIS record.