Transferring to SBU
International students who are admitted to Stony Brook University from another U.S. college, university, high school or language program in F-1 status are considered “SEVIS Transfers." This refers to the transfer of the student’s SEVIS record from one institution to another.
You are also considered a SEVIS Transfer if you have completed a program or period of Post-Completion OPT at one school and then begin a new program at Stony Brook within 5 months.
Students in J-1 status can only transfer to Stony Brook if they will continue to pursue the same program objective.
You are eligible to transfer to Stony Brook University if you:
- Are maintaining lawful F-1/J-1 status
- Meet all academic requirements for admission
- Submit documentation necessary for the issuance of an I-20/DS-2019
Please Note: Your course of study at Stony Brook must begin during the next available term, or within 5 months of the end of your course of study/OPT participation at your transfer-out school, whichever is earlier. Because each student's case may differ, contact Visa and Immigration Services for additional guidance.
Upon admission to SBU, inform your current International Student Advisor that you plan to transfer. We will contact them to release your SEVIS record to Stony Brook University. Stony Brook cannot issue you an I-20/DS-2019 until your SEVIS record is released.
Once you have been admitted to SBU, login to accessVIS and submit all required forms in the 'Request a Form I-20/DS-2019' tab.
You must submit the International Student Transfer Report on the SEVIS Transfer tab. The international advisor at your current school will receive an email with instructions to complete their section of the form.
Stony Brook will issue you a Transfer-Pending I-20/DS-2019.
You must complete the Immigration Intake procedures in accessVIS and attend the New International Student Orientation.
Important Note: Students who leave the United States between transfers must use Stony Brook University’s I-20 when arriving for inspection at the port-of-entry. Please keep all previous I-20s for Intake procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can. If you plan to travel abroad after completing your studies at your previous institution but before starting your program at Stony Brook University, you must re-enter the U.S. with:
- Form I-20 issued by Stony Brook University
- Valid Visa
- Valid Passport
Students with a "Transfer Pending" I-20 may return to the U.S. at any time before the program start date on the transfer I-20. You are considered to be a returning student and not a new student with an initial I-20, so you are not restricted from entering the U.S. more than 30 days before your new program start date.
Be sure to use your Stony Brook issued I-20 at the port of entry.
If you have a valid, unexpired visa in your passport, you do not need to apply for a new visa. You may use the visa you have, even though the previous school's name is on it. However, please note that this is a risk.
If you have an expired visa and are traveling outside of the U.S., you will need to apply for a new visa, but you are not required to pay the SEVIS fee again.
Your transfer release date should be your school's current semester or session completion date, or the date of expected transfer if earlier than the established academic cycle.
If you are on your period of post-completion OPT and wish to complete your OPT period, your transfer release date should be the last day of your OPT authorization period.
No. Any OPT authorization ends on the transfer release date for a student who requests a transfer to another SEVP-certified school or a change of education level to continue at the same school.
Continuing to work on OPT even one day beyond the Transfer Release date would be viewed as a status violation.
A student may begin employment at the transfer-in school after the transfer release date.
Yes, a transfer student can count the time spent studying at the transfer-out school toward any regulatory requirement that the student be "in F -1 status for a full academic year" in order to qualify for employment.
Once your SEVIS record is released to us, we will be notified and will issue you a Transfer Pending I-20.
All SEVIS Transfer students are given a Transfer Pending I-20 until they complete the Immigration Intake procedure on accessVIS and enroll in classes.
Students will then be given a Transfer Completed I-20.