Steps for SEVIS Transfer
- Apply for admission to UALR and submit all supporting documents.
- Visit ualr.edu/international/admission for a complete checklist.
- Receive admission letter.
- Carefully read SEVIS transfer procedures below.
- Work with your current international student advisor to complete the SEVIS Transfer In Request.
- Submit the completed Transfer In Request to firstname.lastname@example.org
- UALR International Student Services will accept the transfer and send you the updated I-20 at the appropriate time.
- Report to International Student Services within 15 days of the program start date.
Deadline: After receiving admission, minimum week prior to school start.
J-1 students will use the J Transfer Request.
SEVIS Transfer Procedures
Transfer Release Date
To maintain your immigration record when switching between institutions within the United States, your current international advisor will transfer your SEVIS record to UALR. On or shortly after the release date, we will have access to your SEVIS record and can issue your updated I-20 for UALR.
Work with your current international advisor to decide the best release date. When deciding on a release date, consider the end of your current semester, campus employment, practical training authorizations and any plans to travel outside the U.S.
Students on OPT: If you are on OPT and wish to transfer to UALR, be aware that once the transfer release date arrives, your OPT eligibility automatically comes to an end. OPT authorization ends on the transfer release date, regardless of employment authorization dates on your I-20 or EAD card.
60 Day Grace Period
If you have recently completed your program or OPT with your current university, you have a 60 day grace period where you can transfer your SEVIS record to a new school without violating your immigration status. Once your SEVIS record is transferred, you must begin your new program at the next available start date, which can be no more than 5 months after the program end date of your former program.
Employment Eligibility for Transfer Students
Transferring affects your work eligibility. Regulations allow on-campus employment only at the institution on your I-20. “In the case of a transfer in SEVIS, the student may only engage in on-campus work at the school having jurisdiction over the student’s SEVIS record.” [8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(i)]. Students are also only eligible to begin working a the new school 30 days prior to the program start date.
Drivers License Renewal for Transfer Students
Once your I-20 has been transferred to UALR, your I-20 will read “transfer pending.” This designation will remain until your record is registered as active in SEVIS. This generally takes place in the first 2-4 weeks of the semester. Since international students are not permitted to renew or obtain an AR drivers license while their transfer is pending, you may request an early SEVIS registration up to 30 days before class begins.
If this delay creates problems for you, please request an expedited SEVIS activation through SEVIS Update online form.
Arkansas state law requires new residents to renew their driver’s license within 30 days of moving to the state.
Traveling Outside the U.S.
If you plan to travel outside the U.S. before classes at UALR begin, you should use the “transfer pending” I-20 from UALR to re-enter the U.S. Once you have entered the U.S. with your UALR’s I-20, your SEVIS transfer is complete. Although your valid U.S. visa may indicate your previous institution, your visa is valid at UALR when accompanied by the “transfer pending” I-20 from UALR. You will not need a new visa if your current visa is unexpired.
Eligibility to Apply for CPT, OPT, etc.
Students are only eligible for certain immigration benefits after completing 9 months of F-1 status. Fortunately, time accrued in one program level will transfer with the student to the new institution. The 9 months will only begin again if the student is entering a new program level (going from undergraduate to graduate study, etc.).
Time already spent on practical training will also transfer to UALR. For example, a student who completed an undergraduate degree at school A, then completes 12 months of post-completion OPT before transferring to UALR for another undergraduate degree would not be eligible for a second year of OPT after the second undergraduate degree.
Canceling the Transfer Release Date
Your transfer out school can cancel or change your transfer plans any time up until the release date arrives. After the release date arrives, they will have no further control over your SEVIS record, and you will then have to work with UALR if you wish to change your plans. For this reason, you need to remember the transfer release date that we choose during your appointment, which will be noted below, and request any changes BEFORE that date arrives.
“But I’m not a transfer student”
This process refers to your SEVIS transfer, not your academic transfer. If you are in the United States in F-1 status, you will need to transfer your SEVIS record to UALR to maintain your immigration status and be eligible for a UALR I-20.