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Office of International Services
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Office of International Services

F-1 Student Status > F-1 Transfer Procedure

F-1 Transfer Procedure

An F-1 transfer procedure is an immigration, not an academic, procedure. It applies to any international student who is currently in lawful F-1 status and has an active F-1 SEVIS record at one school who intends to begin full-time studies at another school. Since the student intends to be a full-time student at another institution, his/her F-1 sponsorship must be transferred from the old to the new institution.

Transfer-In Process

F-1 students currently under the immigration sponsorship of another U.S. institution who intend to begin full-time studies at Teachers College must arrange to have their F-1 records transferred to Teachers College. For more information about the F-1 transfer process for incoming students, please go to the 'New Students' section of this web site. Incoming students must submit a completed Application for Visa Certificate and an F-1 Transfer form to arrange for transfer of their F-1 sponsorship to Teachers College.

Transfer-Out Process

If you are an F-1 student currently enrolled at Teachers College, you should arrange to have your F-1 records 'transferred out' if you intend to begin full-time studies at another academic or language institution. This procedure should be followed once you have completed your studies at TC and/or any period of post-completion Optional Practical Training for which you have been authorized and intended to use.

You are eligible to transfer your F-1 sponsorship to another school if you:

  1. maintained full-time registration at Teachers College and have no record of F-1 immigration violations; or if you are currently on post-completion Optional Practical Training 
  2. have been accepted as a full-time student at your new institution
  3. have been notified by your new institution that they are prepared to issue a Form I-20 to you.

Under the SEVIS database system, the transfer process is handled electronically. If you are in valid F-1 status, TC will 'release' your SEVIS record to your new school. Only after your SEVIS record is released to your new school can the new school issue you an I-20 for your new program. Therefore, you must be very sure what school you are transferring to and when you will begin studies.

To request that TC 'release' your record to another school, please contact the OIS no later than 60 days after you have completed studies at TC, or 60 days after the expiration of your I-20 or your authorized period of OPT. The transfer process cannot be completed if your F-1 records are not released to another school within 60 days after you complete your studies, or your I-20 or OPT expiration date.

Please notify the OIS in person or in writing which school you intend to enroll in, and the date you are expected to start your new program. Under F-1 regulations, you must begin studies at your new institution within five (5) months of your last day of studies and/or your OPT completion date. Also, if your new institution maintains multiple campuses, please let us know which campus you will be attending.

Important Notes

  1. We are required to specify a 'release date,' which is the date your F-1 SEVIS record will become available to your new institution. You can request cancellation of the transfer up to the release date, but once the release date has been reached the transfer cannot be cancelled or reversed.
  2. Once your F-1 release date has been reached, your new school will become your immigration sponsor. You must contact them regarding procedures concerning completion of the F-1 transfer process, I-20 issuance, travel, and F-1 employment benefits.
  3. Once your F-1 release date has been reached, any employment based on your previous status as an F-1 student at Teachers College is terminated. You are no longer eligible to engage in on-campus employment or practical training, including post-completion Optional Practical Training, based on your TC I-20.
  4. Keep all I-20s for your records, since they may be required for future applications for employment or related immigration benefits.

 

Office of International Services
Teachers College, Columbia University
Box 7, 525 W 120th Street
New York, New York 10027-6696
Phone: (212) 678-3939 ♦ ~ Fax: (212) 678-3990 ♦ Email: