To Transfer to Another School in “Active” F-1 Status:
Request ISSS at Georgia State (the transfer-out school) to transfer your SEVIS record to the new school (the transfer-in school). Your new school will be able to access your SEVIS record and create your new transfer Form I-20 only after the record is transferred from Georgia State to the new school in SEVIS.
Please be aware:
- Your SEVIS (immigration) record and academic record are 2 different things. Therefore, transferring academic credit to a new school does not transfer your immigration (SEVIS) record. It’s a separate process.
- If you are on approved Optional Practical Training (OPT), your work authorization will end immediately when your SEVIS record is transferred.
Steps to Transfer-Out Your SEVIS Record
- Obtain an official letter of acceptance from the new school.
- Log into iStart
- In iStart, click on “F1 Student Services,” then the “Transfer Out Form″ e-form.
- Complete the information requested and upload any necessary documents as PDF files.
Other Transfer Policies
- However, to be classified as in-state for tuition purposes, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia requires all students to provide verification of their lawful presence (VOLP) in the United States. This requirement is detailed in the following Board of Regents policies at Policy 4.3.4 Verification of Lawful Presence.
- For Transfer students, VOLP is satisfied by the transfer of your SEVIS I-20 record to Georgia State.
- Students who cannot satisfy VOLP may enroll at the undergraduate level subject to full, out-of-state tuition and fees.
- After academic admission to Georgia State and submission of complete financial documents to ISSS, request a SEVIS transfer to Georgia State from your current school. The transfer clearance form must be completed by you and your current school DSO (Designated School Official) before the semester start date. Please refer to the transfer student page for more information.
- An International Admission (IA) Hold is in effect until VOLP is completed through the SEVIS transfer process.
- Your current school immigration advisor will set a SEVIS release date based on the last day of the semester of your current semester and the first day of classes at Georgia State. If you are traveling outside of the country during the transfer process, you must request a new I-20 from Georgia State at least 2 weeks before your departure. You cannot re-enter the U.S. without your "transfer pending" I-20 from Georgia State. Once we receive your transfer clearance form by fax or mail, ISSS will remove the IA hold from your account in order for you to register. This complete VOLP for transfer students.
- After your SEVIS record transfer to Georgia State, your previous school no longer has access to your SEVIS record.
Transfer students admitted for the Summer semester must register in and maintain at least 6 credit hours in order to maintain F-1 status at Georgia State.
- After completion of studies, a transfer is only possible within the grace period (60 days for F1 students).
- Transferring after the start of a semester at Georgia State must occur during the 1st 30 days of the semester.
- After losing lawful immigration status, you will have to depart and re-enter the U.S. with a “new initial” Form I-20 from your new school in order to study in F-1 status at that school.
Valid Travel Signature Requirement
International students must have a valid travel signature on their immigration Form I-20 to re-enter the United States. Immigration forms may only be signed by an approved Designated School Official (DSO) or Responsible Officer (RO) in ISSS. Academic advisors and faculty members may not sign immigration documents.
How Long is a Travel Signature Valid?
- The immigration document states, “Each certification signature is valid for one year.” However, we know from experience that signatures near expiration can cause problems at U.S. re-entry. Therefore, ISSS recommends a new (updated) travel signature if the current one will be more than 6 months old at the time you re-enter the U.S.
Where is the Travel Signature?
- On form I-20, page 2.
How do I get my travel signature updated?
- Log into iStart
- Click on “F1 Student Services,” then “Travel Signature Request.”
- Your ISSS advisor will review your e-form and email you, once approved.
- Then, find retrieval instructions for your I-20 in the approval email.
- The normal processing time is 3-5 business days.
- Know Your Rights at the Port of Entry: The American Civil Liberties Union publishes a helpful pamphlet called “Know Your Rights,” which contains information about your rights in case you come into contact with law enforcement at the airport or other ports of entry to the U.S. We encourage you to review this information, especially before international travel into the U.S. It contains useful questions and answers, and a list of other resources and referral contacts should you ever need them.
- Grace Period: If you are in a post-completion grace period, and you depart the U.S for any reason, the grace period automatically ends. You cannot re-enter the U.S.
- 5 Month Rule: If you will be outside the U.S. for more than 5 months, your I-20 will automatically expire, regardless of the travel signature date. For students who are continuing their program by conducting research outside of the U.S., please note that you must obtain documentation from your department prior to departing the country that explains your stay outside the U.S for this time period. You are required to visit the ISSS office before you depart.
- Forgot your Immigration Form: If you arrive back in the U.S. without your I-20, you will not be allowed immediate entry. You will go to secondary inspection (a waiting area for further questioning that can take several hours), or possibly be refused entry to the U.S.
- Questions or Concerns: Please contact your international advisor if you have questions or concerns before traveling.
ISSS is committed to maintaining support and services to you during this time and will continue to operate under normal operating procedures for the remainder of the semester, just from a remote and online platform. This means you can call us directly or email us to request information and/or telephone/web appointments for advisement during our regular advisement hours.