If you decide to transfer schools or start another program at a different school after you graduate from CMU or finish OPT, your I-20 and SEVIS record should be transferred to your new school.
Please note that "transfer" in the SEVIS/I-20 sense is not the same as an academic transfer; your I-20 can and should still be transferred even if you're not transferring academic credits to your new school.
Important Information for I-20 Transfers
If you wish to have your I-20 transferred, Please read the following information carefully. If you have questions about the information here, please ask an OGE advisor.
If you are graduating: your I-20 must be transferred no later than 60 days after the program end date on your I-20. You should plan accordingly and submit the request at least a few days before this deadline. Keep in mind that if you have time left on your I-20 after graduation, the OGE will likely shorten your program. Email communication about this will be sent to your @cmich.edu email.
If you are nearing the end of your period of OPT, including STEM OPT: your I-20 must be transferred before the end of your grace period, no later than 60 days after your USCIS authorized OPT/STEM OPT end date. Therefore, you must request the transfer with OGE at least 3 business days before the end of your grace period to allow for processing time.
If you are not graduating and are simply changing schools: if you are currently full-time enrolled at CMU, there is generally no strict deadline for requesting your transfer. Instead, you should work with your new school to determine when they need your record. If you have withdrawn from your classes, OGE must receive your transfer out request no later than 15 days after your withdrawal from classes. Otherwise, you risk termination of your I-20.
- If you are partway through your period of OPT: there is generally no strict deadline for this so long as your record is transferred to your new school when they need it. Talk to your new school about this. Make sure you also understand the information under the "OPT employment and I-20 transfer" heading
If you plan to remain in the United States between ending at CMU and starting at your new school, you must begin at your new school during their next available required term or within 5 months of your program/OPT end date, whichever is sooner. Any time spent in the United States beyond 5 months in which you are not enrolled would place you out of F-1 status and could subject you to the accrual of unlawful presence.
If you are on OPT and wish to transfer your I-20, please note the following:
You cannot work past your transfer date (see step 3 below) even if your authorized OPT end date has not yet arrived. This means you essentially abandon the remainder of your OPT by transferring your record to a new school. Once you do this, you cannot make this time up at a later date. This is true even if your OPT was only recently approved and you never worked. Remember that you are also not permitted to receive OPT twice at the same education level.
If you are nearing the end of your OPT, your record must be transferred to your new school no later than 60 days after your OPT end date.
If you work on-campus and choose to transfer your I-20 to a new school, you cannot continue to work on campus past your transfer date (see step 3 below).
How to request an I-20 Transfer
You must have an approved admission to another U.S. school in order for CMU to transfer your record. To find U.S. schools that accept international students, please visit
the Study in the States website.
When applying and communicating with your new school, be sure they are aware that you are currently in the United States and would like to transfer your CMU I-20 to them. This will likely make a difference for your application processing.
OGE requires the following documentation in order to transfer your record. You will submit these items in step 4 below.
Proof of admission to new school. This is usually an admission letter. Your letter should indicate that you have been admitted to your new school along with your starting term. Letters that offer graduate assistantships or other funding are not acceptable as proof of admission.
SEVIS transfer request form from new school, if required by new school, with the appropriate sections completed by you if necessary. Please read the form instructions carefully. Some schools may not require this. Check with the international office at your new school to verify what they require.
SEVIS school code from you new school. This can be obtained from your new school's international office. It may also be on your new school's transfer request form if they have one or on their website.
When you complete step 4 below, you will be required to specify a transfer release date.
It is important that you choose this date carefully!
Tips to consider when deciding on a date:
Talk to your new school. Ask them when they will require access
to your record. Be sure they know about your travel plans if you have any.
Consider your schedule at CMU. If you are still taking classes at CMU, you should generally choose a date that will correspond to the end of a semester.
Remember the 5 month rule. The government requires that you start at your new school no later than 5 months after ending at CMU or on your last day of OPT. If you cannot start within 5 months, you may need to return home first in order to remain in valid F-1 status.
Remember the 60-day deadline if you are requesting a transfer during your grace period. All students receive a 60-day grace period following the conclusion of their program of study or after any authorized periods of OPT. Your record must be transferred by the end of your 60-day grace period. No exceptions.
If you are on OPT, your employment authorization will end on the transfer date you specify if your OPT does not end before then.
This is true even if you have more time left on your EAD card past the transfer release date your specify. This means that you must stop working once your transfer release date arrives. As a result, it's important to balance your desire to continue with OPT and the need for your new school to have your record when they need it.
To submit your transfer out request:
- Log in to the OGE application system.
- Click on Requests > Transfer Out.
- Follow the instructions from there.
Once you submit all of the required materials, an OGE advisor will contact you regarding any required next steps.