Transfer from ISU


Overview

A transfer is requested when a student is admitted to another U.S. school and wants their immigration record to be transferred to that institution. A transfer can occur in the middle of a degree program, after completing a degree program, or after engaging in a period of Optional Practical Training (OPT).

 

Transfer Process

  • Student is admitted to a new U.S. school
  • Student submits a request to ISSO to transfer their SEVIS record to the new school
  • ISSO releases student’s SEVIS record to the new school on the Transfer Release Date indicated by the student
  • New school issues transfer I-20 for student

 

Cystart Request

Transfer requests can be submitted through an electronic process in Cystart. Students may log in to Cystart using their ISU NetID and password. Complete and submit the Transfer from ISU request found under F-1 Student Services tab.

 

Students are not required to meet with an International Student Advisor, but students may wish to meet with an advisor to discuss the SEVIS release date.

 

Timeline

  • If completed degree program, students should submit the Cystart request no later than 45 days from the last day of the semester when the student was last enrolled at ISU
  • If in the middle of a degree program, students should submit the Cystart request no later than 15 days before the start of the next semester
  • If unemployed on OPT, no later than 15 days before reaching 90 days of unemployment

 

Required Documentation

Students must submit an admission letter from the U.S. institution where they wish to be transferred.

 

Transfer Release Date

The Transfer Release Date is the date in which a student would like their SEVIS record transferred to another U.S. educational institution. Students are able to select a transfer release date on the "Transfer from ISU e-form". If a student transfers:

  • During an academic program: The student can choose a Transfer Release Date after the end date of the current semester, but before the start date of the next semester at ISU.
  • After completing an academic program: The student can choose a Transfer Release Date after the end date of the current semester, but not to exceed the 60 day grace period
  • While on OPT: The student can choose any date during OPT period, however if nearing 90 days of unemployment, the record must be transferred before 90th day of unemployment.
  • After OPT: The student can only select a Transfer Release Date within their 60 day grace period.

 

ISSO Processing

It will take ISSO up to 10 working days after there is a check mark in all boxes on the Cystart Transfer from ISU page and the admission letter has been submitted. ISSO will send an email to the student's ISU email address when processing is complete. If this email is not received in 10 working days as previously noted, ISSO recommends contacting the office by email at isso@iastate.edu to request the status of the application.

 

Additional Steps

  • Withdraw from ISU if enrolled for the current/future semesters to avoid charges for tuition and fees (process must be done through AccessPlus or your academic/faculty advisor)
  • Notify the Department of Residence if living in a residence hall or university apartment

 

Cancel Transfer Request

ISSO can cancel the transfer before the SEVIS release date. Students must contact ISSO at isso@iastate.edu in advance to request a cancellation. Students who wish to cancel a transfer request after the SEVIS release date will need to work with the new U.S. school and ISSO to correct the SEVIS record.

 

The New I-20

Transfer Pending I-20

The new school must wait until the SEVIS record is released to issue the new I-20. Once the SEVIS record is released to the new school, they can then issue a "Transfer Pending" I-20.

The SEVIS transfer is a two-step process. The first I-20 shows that the SEVIS record has been transferred to the new school. This I-20 will say "Transfer Pending." The second I-20 shows that the student is registered for classes. This I-20 will say "Continued Attendance."

 

Initial I-20 Issue

This type of I-20 is issued for the purpose of initial attendance. An initial I-20 can be problematic for students, as they must reenter the U.S. and can return to the U.S. no more than 30 days prior to the report date on the new I-20. Students are advised to inform the international office at the new school that they intend to transfer their SEVIS record.

 

Impact on Enrollment

Following a transfer, students are required to begin classes the next available term AND within 5 months from:

  • The last day of the semester when last enrolled
  • The last day of OPT employment
     

Impact on Employment

End Date for Employment (CPT, OPT, On-Campus)

Students must stop all on-campus employment authorized by ISSO:

  • The day before SEVIS release date, if they have not completed degree
  • On the last day of enrollment, if they have completed degree

 

Students must stop all OPT employment: 

  • The day before SEVIS release date, if EAD end date is in the future
  • The end date of EAD card, if EAD end date is in the past

 

Notification for On-Campus Employment Ending

If the student has or will complete their degree before transferring, ISSO will shorten the student’s I-20 to the last day of the semester they were enrolled. As a result, the student’s I-9 work permit will also be shortened preventing the student from working on campus. The student and department will be notified of the last day they can work on-campus.

 

Resuming On-Campus Employment at New School

Students may be eligible to begin employment at the new school as early as the date their SEVIS record is transferred. Policies vary between schools, so please consult with the International Student Advisor at the new school regarding the earliest on-campus employment date.

 

Impact on Travel

Students who have transferred their records must use the I-20 from the new school to return to the U.S. Students who plan to travel internationally are encouraged to discuss any risks associated with travel with their new school. 

 

F-1 Visa

Students whose current F-1 visa expires after the date of return and who have multiple entries do not need to apply for a new F-1 visa. This is true even if the current F-1 visa has ISU listed in the annotation at the bottom of the visa.

 

Immigration Consequences

Failure to apply for a transfer may result in the following:

  • Students who have not completed their academic program with an I-20 end date in the future can continue enrollment at ISU and request a future transfer.
  • Students whose I-20 end date is in the past are in violation of their F-1 nonimmigrant status. Students in this situation should email ISSO for assistance. 
  • Students who completed their academic program but failed to request a SEVIS transfer within the 60 day grace period are in violation of their F-1 nonimmigrant status. Students in this situation should email ISSO for assistance. 

 

Disclaimer: This Frequently Asked Questions is intended for general information and guidance. As this information can quickly become outdated or may not apply to your situation, please consult with an International Student Advisor in the International Students and Scholars Office regarding your individual questions.