Once you finish your program of study, you may decide that you would like to continue your studying. After you complete your program, you may be eligible for a transfer. There are also times when you are currently studying in a program and want to transfer before you complete your program.
If you decide that you would like to transfer to another school while still enrolled, you must show your designated school official (DSO) written confirmation of acceptance to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified school you wish to transfer to.
The school that you want to transfer to will give you a transfer out form. You and the school you are transferring out from will fill out the form and send it to your new school. Your old and new school will agree on a SEVIS release date, and you will be free to transfer to your new school.
Once you finish your program of study, you have a 60-day grace period. Your grace period allows you 60 days to prepare to go back to your home country, transfer to another school, change your visa status, or start a new program. However, if you withdraw from your program of study early, your grace period will be reduced to 15 days.
If you finish your program of study and transfer within 60 days to another program, you will not have to pay the SEVIS fee again. If the time between your old and new program is more than 60 days but less than 5 months, you will be allowed to stay in the United States. To maintain your status, you will have to register for classes and contact the new DSO within 15 days of the new program’s start date. However, if the time between the programs is longer than 5 months, the new school will have to issue you a new I-20 form. You will have to leave the U.S. within the 60 day grace period and may re-enter no earlier than 30 days before your new program’s start date.
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