SEVIS Transfer for J-1 Students

SEVIS Transfer Overview

A SEVIS transfer is the process of moving your SEVIS record from your current school to a new school after you are admitted. Most commonly this happens when:

  • A student leaves one undergraduate or graduate program to attend another institution.
  • A student graduates from one degree program and decides to pursue another degree at a different institution.
  • A students changes their immigration sponsorship.

Eligibility for a SEVIS Record Transfer

  • You must be maintaining legal J-1 status at your current school.
  • You have an offer of admission from the new school.
  • The purpose of the transfer must be to complete the objective for which you were admitted to exchange visitor status and you remain in the same participant category.
  • You have notified your current school of your intention to transfer the SEVIS record, discussed a transfer date, and provided all required documents before the program completion date listed on your DS-2019.
  • The program at the transfer-in school must begin at the next available term or session.
A J-1 student is not eligible for a SEVIS transfer if:
  • The student has not maintained legal J-1 status
  • The student is making a change to their field of study
  • The student has applied to the U.S. Department of State for a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement

How do I apply for a "SEVIS Transfer"?

Since J-1 Student SEVIS transfers can be complex, you will need to confirm eligibility for a SEVIS transfer with the ISS office before a transfer can be initiated. To contact an ISS advisor, please email iss@buffalo.edu, subject line: J-1 Student SEVIS transfer. An advisor in ISS will review your situation and let you know how to proceed with the SEVIS transfer.

Transfer of Sponsorship

If you are a J-1 Student visa holder who is currently sponsored (such as by IIE, AMIDEAST, or Laspau) and are interested in transferring your sponsorship to UB, please contact Kara Lanuti at iss@buffalo.edu to discuss your situation and ensure you are eligible for this type of transfer.

How do I choose a date to have my SEVIS record released?

Once you have confirmed eligibility for the transfer, consider the following points when deciding the date to have your SEVIS record transferred to the new school:

  • Consult your new school and find out if there is a deadline to have your SEVIS record transferred.
  • Consider any travel plans you might have. If you will travel outside the U.S. before the start of classes at your new school, you must have a DS-2019 from that school before you can return to the U.S. Your new school cannot create the new DS-2019 until we have transferred your SEVIS record.
  • Consider any on-campus employment. Your on-campus work authorization ends when your SEVIS record is transferred.
  • Consider the program end date on your current DS-2019. The SEVIS transfer must be done before your current DS-2019 expires.

What if I am on Academic Training?

If you meet the eligibility requirements listed above, you can transfer to another school during your academic training. However, consider the following:

  • The transfer must be completed before your DS-2019 expires.
  • Your employment authorization will end on the SEVIS release date. Consider this when choosing a release date.

What if I have J-2 dependents?

If you have J-2 dependents (your spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age), who will transfer their sponsorship along with you or join you at UB shortly after the SEVIS transfer, you will need to provide additional documentation showing your ability to meet your dependents' expenses as well as copies of their passports.

If your dependents will join you later, you may request a DS-2019 from UB at any time during your stay at UB. For additional information on adding a J-2 dependent, reference our J-2 Dependents webpage.

J-1 Student Transfer Forms

Important Reminder

Note:  If you apply for a waiver of the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement (INA 212e), and your waiver is recommended in writing by the U.S. Department of State (“No Objection Statement”) or you receive Form I-612 from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you are no longer eligible for any J-1 benefits (DS-2019 Extension, Academic Training, SEVIS Transfer, etc.). Therefore, please consult with ISS before applying for the waiver.  Since 212(e) waiver applications can be complex, we also recommend that you seek assistance from an experienced immigration attorney.