I-20 Transfer Procedures

Important Dates and F-1 Deadlines

International students in F-1 Student status must complete SEVIS I-20 transfer procedure whenever you change educational institution or to another program of study.

Transfer from Another School

Students who are already in the United States with in F-1 status must transfer their SEVIS record in order to attend SF State as a degree seeking student.  You are considered "transfer student" for immigration purposes if you: 
  1. Have an Active SEVIS record at your current school and in valid F-1 status, and
  2. No more than 5 months has passed from your last date of attendance at your current school OR your last day of OPT (whichever is later)

You can attend orientation and register for classes while waiting for your transfer I-20 to be issued by SF State.  However, you must receive a transfer I-20 within 15 days of the semester start date at SF State.  Fail to receive a transfer I-20 within 15 days of the semester start date will result in loss of your legal status in the U.S.  

Step 1

Notify a Designated School Official (DSO) at your current school that you have been admitted to SF State.  Your SEVIS record need to be transferred to:

San Francisco State University (SFSU)
SFR214F00630000

*Your school does not need to fill out any transfer eligibility or transfer evaluation form.

Step 2

A Designated School Official (DSO) at your current school will transfer your record to SF State.  The transfer date will most likely be the last day of your attendance at your current school.  The transfer date should be before or within 15 days of the semester start date at SF State.

Step 3

A "Transfer I-20" will be issued by International Admissions (Undergraduate students) or Graduate Studies (Graduate students).  After you receive the transfer I-20, check your degree level on your new SF State I-20 to ensure it accurately reflects your current degree level at SF State.

If you have questions about receiving transfer I-20, please contact: 

undergraduate students graduate students
International Undergraduate Admissions
One Stop, Student Services Building (SSB)
Phone: 415-338-2382
Graduate Studies
Administration Building, Room 254
Phone 415-405-4005

If you are a current SF State student who transferred to another school for one semester only, you are eligible to transfer your SEVIS record back to SF State without reapplying for admissions.  

Step 1

Email f1@sfsu.edu the following documents:

  1. A completed and signed I-20 Request Form (PDF, 202KB)
  2. Financial Affidavit (PDF, 185 KB)
  3. A bank letter verifying you or your sponsor(s) have sufficient funds to support your study in the U.S. for at least one academic year.  The bank letter can not be more than six months old.  You can find the minimum amount of funds that you are required to show on the Financial Affidavit (PDF, 185 KB).  Your sponsor(s) can either sign the "Sponsor Agreement" section of the Financial Affidavit or provide a signed Sponsor's letter.  See template (Microsoft Word, 12.1KB).

Step 2

Notify an Designated School Official (DSO) at your current school that you have been admitted to SF State.  Your SEVIS record need to be transferred to:

San Francisco State University (SFSU)
SFR214F00630000

*Your school does not need to fill out any transfer eligibility or transfer evaluation form.

Step 3

A Designated School Official (DSO) at your current school will transfer your record to SF State.  The transfer date will most likely be the last day of your attendance at your current school.  The transfer date should be before or within 15 days of the semester start date at SF State.

Step 4

Transfer I-20 will be issued by OIP and you will be notified when it is ready for pick up at OIP front desk.  Email f1@sfsu.edu if you wish to receive the transfer I-20 via mail. 

After you receive the transfer I-20, check your degree level on your new SF State I-20 to ensure it accurately reflects your current degree level at SF State.

New SF State F-1 transfer students must receive transfer I-20s within 15 (business) days of the semester start date at SF State.  The deadline is the Last Day to Drop/Withdraw Classes without a Grade of W date posted on SF State Registrar's website

Fail to receive transfer I-20 before the deadline will result in loss of your legal status in the U.S.!

Transfer to Another School

Your new academic program must start within 5 months of:

  • Your current SF State semester end date (grades available on your gateway), OR
  • Your OPT end date: If you are on Post-Completion OPT and you wish to transfer to another school in the middle of your OPT period, your OPT will end on the day our office transfers your SEVIS record
  • You must begin classes at the your new school at the next available term or within five months, whichever is sooner.  See Transfers for F-1 Students info at Student and Exchange Visitor Program

To request your SEVIS record to be transferred to another school, email the following forms to f1@sfsu.edu from your SF State email address.  Requests are processed within 5 business days.  We accept digital signatures, scanned copies, and high resolution/clear pictures of the completed form:

  1. A signed and completed Transfer Out Form (PDF, 78KB).
    • You must indicate the "School SEVIS Code" from your new school. You may find it either on your acceptance letter, or your new school's website for F-1 international students. Check with your new school if you do not know the code.
    • You may decide on the "SEVIS Release date" based on your new schools program start date, or your OPT end date if you are on OPT. You may also check with your new school to see when is the latest they must receive your SEVIS record in order to issue you a new transfer I-20. This date is up to you to decide.
  2. A photocopy of the admission/acceptance letter from the school you wish to transfer

OIP will process your request within 5 business days. Please keep in mind that we will not be able to access your SEVIS record after your record is transferred out.  If you change your mind about transferring you must notify our office BEFORE the SEVIS Release date indicated on your Transfer Our Form.  

If you are a current SF State student, your transfer out deadline is the Last Day to Drop/Withdraw Classes without a Grade of W date posted on SF State Registrar's website.

If you have completed your program at SF State, your transfer out deadline is within 60 days of the Grades Available on SF State Gateway date posted on SF State Registrar's website.

If your Post-Completion OPT is ending, your transfer out deadline is within 60 days of your EAD end date.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can travel outside the U.S. while waiting for your transfer I-20.  However, you must return to the U.S. with the transfer I-20 issued by the school you plan to attend.  You are not required to apply for a new F-1 visa just because you transferred to another school.  You can enter the U.S. with your transfer I-20 and a valid F-1 visa, even if your F-1 visa has your previous school's name on it.

If you are transferring to SF State: 

You must have a transfer I-20 issued by SF State at the time you return to the U.S.  It is important for you to inform International Undergraduate Admissions or Division of Graduate Studies about your travel plan so you can receive your transfer I-20 in timely manner.

If you are transferring from SF State to another school:

You must return to the U.S. with a transfer I-20 issued by your new school.

If you are transferring to SF State: 

You can only start on-campus employment if you meet the following requirements:
  1. You have enrolled full-time at SF State, and
  2. You have received a transfer I-20 issued by SF State, and
  3. The semester is starting within 10 days

Learn how to obtain On-Campus Employment Authorization.

If you are transferring from SF State to another school:

Your last day to work on campus is the "Semester End Date" posted on Academic Calendar, or the date OIP transfer your SEVIS record to another school, whichever is earlier. 

For example, if the semester end date is June 5, but your SEVIS record got transferred to another school on June 3, you will only be able to work on SF State campus until June 3.

Last updated: June 2020

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