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 may need a SEVIS Transfer. This is the process of moving your SEVIS record from your current school to a new school, after you are admitted. Admission to a new school alone does not automatically allow an F-1 student to begin studies at another school. A SEVIS Transfer, if eligible, has several benefits:
- You do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again
- You can remain in the U.S. in between programs (if there is less than 5 months between the end of your current program and the start of your new program, more details below.)
- You maintain the same SEVIS ID number
- If your F-1 visa is still valid, you can continue to use it until its expiration date. It is OK if your old school's name is on your visa.
- You may travel in between programs and are not subject to the 30-day entry restriction (entering no earlier than 30 days before your program starts).
- You must be maintaining F-1 status
- You must have an offer of admission from SBU
- If you already graduated or completed OPT, you must request the SEVIS transfer within your 60-day grace period
- The start of classes at SBU must be within 5 months of one of the following:
- Academic program completion at your prior institution;
- Last day of enrollment at your prior institution;
- OPT authorization end date (end date on EAD)
- For students who are transferring before the end of their OPT, the start of classes must be within 5 months of the requested SEVIS I-20 transfer/release date
- Students in J-1 status can only transfer to Stony Brook if they will continue to pursue the same program objective.
If the period of time between F-1 activities is longer than 5 months, your SEVIS record is not eligible for transfer. You must receive a new initial I-20 with a new SEVIS number.
Upon gaining admission to Stony Brook University (SBU), you must notify your current International Student Advisor of your intention to enroll at SBU and inquire about their transfer-out processes. Once you have completed step 3 (see below), we will contact your current institution to request the release your SEVIS record to SBU.
Please be aware that Stony Brook University is unable to provide you with an I-20/DS-2019 until your SEVIS record has been officially transferred and released.
Once you have been admitted to SBU, login to accessVIS and submit all required forms within the SBU Issued Form I-20/DS-2019 Request linked from the accessVIS Home Page under "Requests."
You must submit the SEVIS Record Transfer Information form in accessVIS. The international advisor at your current school will receive an email with instructions on releasing your SEVIS record.
Stony Brook will issue you a Transfer-Pending I-20/DS-2019.
You must complete the New Student Check-in and Orientation process in accessVIS.
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.
Your on-campus work authorization ends when your SEVIS record is transferred or when you graduate, whichever comes first. You may not work on campus after your degree conferral.
You may only work on campus at the school that has access to your SEVIS record. Contact the international student adviser at your new school to verify employment eligibility.
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. Upon completion of the International Student Check-in process in accessVIS and registration of your record in SEVIS, you will be issued a "continued attendance" I-20 endorsed for travel.