F-1 Transfer Out Procedures

Transferring from UALR to Another U.S. School Transfer Procedure

  1. Apply for admission to new SEVP certified US institution.
  2. Receive admission letter and request for their transfer in request form. 
  3. Carefully read SEVIS transfer procedures below.
  4. Schedule an appointment with a UALR international student advisor. Bring admission letter and new school’s transfer in form.
  5. A UALR advisor will complete the transfer in form and submit it to the new school.
  6. The new school will  accept the transfer and send you the updated I-20 at the appropriate time.
  7. Report to the new school within 15 days of the program start date.

Processing time: Two weeks.
Deadline for Transferring within a program: Within 60 day grace period 
Deadline for Transferring after program completion: Before next session begins at transfer in school; no later than 30 days after next UALR session begins.

SEVIS Transfer Procedures

Transfer Release Date

Your new school cannot make an I-20 for you until we “release” your immigration records in SEVIS. To do this, we must specify a “release date,” whereupon UALR will no longer be able to access or change your records, and the record will then fall under the jurisdiction of the new school.

Students on OPT: If you are on OPT and wish to transfer to another school, you should be aware that once the transfer release date arrives, your OPT eligibility automatically comes to an end. On the transfer release date, your SEVIS records are sent to the new school and are no longer under the jurisdiction of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

60 Day Grace Period

If you have recently completed your program or OPT at UALR, 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 school whose I-20 is covering you: “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)] In other words, a student who chooses June 1 as a transfer release date cannot work on the UALR campus after June 1. The student would, however, be able to begin employment on the campus of the new school as soon as the release date passes and they receive the new I-20 and less than 30 days before the program start date at the new transfer school.

Drivers License Renewal for Transfer Students

Once your I-20 has been transferred to the new school, your I-20 will read “transfer pending” until your SEVIS record is activated within 30 days of the start of the new semester. While the transfer is pending, you will not be eligible to obtain or renew your AR drivers license.

Transfer Students Who Travel Outside the U.S.

If you plan to travel outside the U.S. before classes at the new school starts, you should use the “transfer pending” I-20 from the new school to re-enter the U.S. By entering with the new school’s I-20, it automatically completes the transfer process for you. Transfer students who follow this procedure do NOT need to get a new U.S. visa if your current one is still valid. Though your valid U.S. visa may say the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, you can still enter the U.S. using that valid visa along with the “transfer pending” I-20 from the new school.

Eligibility to Apply for CPT, OPT, etc. at New School

Transfer students will remain eligible for such benefits of F-1 status like being able to apply for CPT, OPT, etc. at the new school, provided they had maintained status (including registering full-time) for an entire academic year at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. For example, a student who began studying at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in August 2013, and who maintained full-time enrollment for that fall and spring semester, would be eligible to apply for Curricular Practical Training or Optional Practical Training at the new school if desired and if eligible in the Fall 2014. You do not have to be enrolled for an additional academic year at the new school in order to be eligible for these benefits.

Students Who Graduate From the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

If you graduate or complete your program of study at UALR and then wish to transfer to a new school (as opposed to transferring to a new school before you complete your studies at UALR), you should be aware that the transfer must be requested either during your last semester at UALR, or within 60 days following the end date of your last semester.

Canceling the Transfer Release Date

ISS can cancel or change your transfer plans any time up until the release date arrives. After the release date arrives, we have no further control over your SEVIS record, and you will then have to work with the new school 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.

A Word About “Initial Entry” I-20’s

We have mentioned that the new school will not be able to make the “transfer pending” I-20 for you until the SEVIS release date arrives. However, there is a way the school can make an I-20 for you before the SEVIS release date arrives. This is by issuing an “initial attendance” I-20, rather than a “transfer pending” I-20. We DO NOT recommend you allow the new school to do this. If the school gives you an “initial attendance” I-20, and you leave the U.S. and re-enter using the “initial attendance” I-20, you are considered a new student and will not be able to re-enter the U.S. until 30 days before the report date on your initial attendance I-20. You also will not be eligible for CPT, OPT or certain other F-1 benefits until you have been enrolled at the new school for a full academic year. You will also be required to pay another SEVIS fee for this new SEVIS number.