I-20 Transfer Procedures

International students in F-1 Student status must complete SEVIS I-20 transfer procedure whenever they 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 records in order to attend SF State as degree seeking students. 

F-1 students are considered "transfer students" for immigration purposes if they: 

  1. Have "Active" SEVIS record at their current schools and in valid F-1 status, and
  2. No more than 5 months has passed from their last date of attendance at their current school OR their last day of OPT (whichever is later).

F-1 international students can attend orientation and register for classes while waiting for their transfer I-20 to be issued by SF State. 

Steps to transfer SEVIS records to SF State:

Step 1

Notify a Designated School Official (DSO) at their current school that they have been admitted to SF State.  Students' SEVIS record need to be transferred to:

San Francisco State University (SFSU)
SFR214F00630000

Step 2

A Designated School Official (DSO) at their current school will transfer their record to SF State.  The transfer date will most likely be the last day of their attendance at their 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). 

Students are advised to check their degree level on their transfer SF State I-20 to ensure it accurately reflects their current degree level at SF State.

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

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS GRADUATE STUDENTS

International Undergraduate Admissions

One Stop, Student Services Building (SSB)

Email ugintl@sfsu.edu

Phone: 415-338-2382

Graduate Studies

Administration Building, Room 254

Email gradstudies@sfsu.edu

Phone 415-405-4005

If F-1 international students transferred to another school for one semester only, they are eligible to transfer their SEVIS record back to SF State without reapplying for admissions.  

Step 1

Email f1@sfsu.edu the following documents:

1. New I-20 Request Form

2. Signed Financial Affidavit Form

3. Proof of Finances

Students and/or their sponsor(s) must prove that they have the financial ability to pay for school costs plus living expenses for one academic year.  See Financial Affidavit for the minimum amount of funds they are required to have. 

  1. Photocopies are acceptable.
  2. Acceptable types of proof: balance verification issued by the bank or Financial Guarantee/award letters issued by the scholarship organization.
  3. The proof must be issued within the past 6 months.
  4. If students have sponsor(s), their sponsor(s) must provide a Sponsor’s Letter (See template provided below) signed by their sponsor(s) along with the financial proof.

Step 2

Students must notify a Designated School Official (DSO) at their current school that they have been admitted to SF State.  Their SEVIS record need to be transferred to:

San Francisco State University (SFSU)
SFR214F00630000

Step 3

A Designated School Official (DSO) at their current school will transfer their record to SF State.  The transfer date will most likely be the last day of their attendance at their 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 students will be notified when it is ready for pick up at OIP front desk.  Email f1@sfsu.edu if they wish to receive the transfer I-20 via mail. 

After they receive the transfer I-20, students must check their degree level on their new SF State I-20 to ensure it accurately reflects their current degree level at SF State.

Students must receive their 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 their legal status in the U.S.

 

Transfer to Another School

Students' new academic program must start within 5 months of:

  • Their current SF State semester end date (grades available on their gateway), OR
  • Their OPT end date: If they are on Post-Completion OPT and they wish to transfer to another school in the middle of their OPT period, their OPT will end on the day our office transfers their SEVIS record.
  • They must begin classes at the their 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 students' SEVIS record to be transferred to another school, sign and complete the following online I-20 Transfer Out Request Form.

ATTENTION

  1. Students must indicate the "School SEVIS Code" from their new school.  They may find it either on their acceptance letter, or their new school's website for F-1 international students. Check with their new school if they do not know the code.
  2. Students may decide on the "SEVIS release date" based on their new schools program start date, or their OPT end date if students are on OPT. They may also check with their new school to see when is the latest they must receive their SEVIS record in order to issue them a new transfer I-20. This date is up to them to decide.

OIP will process their request within 5 business days.

OIP will not be able to access SEVIS records after SEVIS release date.  Students must notify OIP BEFORE the SEVIS release date if they wish to cancel transfer.

  • If students are current SF State students, their 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 students have completed their program at SF State, their transfer out deadline is within 60 days of the Grades Available on SF State Gateway date posted on SF State Registrar's website.
  • If students Post-Completion OPT is ending, their transfer out deadline is within 60 days of their EAD end date.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students can travel outside the U.S. while waiting for their transfer I-20 and return to the U.S. with the transfer I-20 issued by the schools they plan to attend.  Students are not required to apply for new F-1 visas just because they transferred to another school.  Students can enter the U.S. with their transfer I-20s, valid passports, and valid F-1 visa, even if their F-1 visas show their previous school's names.

If students are transferring to SF State: 

  • They must have transfer I-20 issued by SF State at the time they return to the U.S. 
  • It is important  to inform International Undergraduate Admissions or Division of Graduate Studies about their travel plans so they can receive transfer I-20s in timely manner.

If students are transferring from SF State to another school:

  • They must return to the U.S. with the transfer I-20 issued by their new schools.

If students are transferring to SF State: 

They can only start on-campus employment if they meet the following three requirements:

  1. They have enrolled full-time at SF State
  2. They have received transfer I-20 issued by SF State
  3. The semester is starting within 10 days

Learn how to obtain On-Campus Employment Authorization.

If students are transferring from SF State to another school:

Students' last day to work on campus is the "Semester End Date" posted on Academic Calendaror their SEVIS release date, whichever is earlier. 

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

Last updated: November 2021

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