F-1 Transfers

Whenever you attend a school in the US, you must have an active immigration record at your new school. If you recently attended another US school, you may be able to transfer your immigration record to William and Mary or VIMS. If you are a William and Mary or VIMS student and plan to attend another US school, we can also transfer your record to your new school.

This is a time-sensitive process, and is important because it impacts your immigration status. Contact Reves Center staff if you have any questions. 

Coming from another US school to William & Mary or VIMS
 Transfer your Immigration Record

To be eligible to transfer your immigration record to W&M or VIMS, you must be in valid F-1 student status with an active SEVIS record, and must begin your new program within 5 months of the end date of your current program or OPT.

How to Transfer your Immigration Record

Step 1: You must be accepted by W&M or VIMS first. Or, if you've taken a leave of absence from W&M or VIMS to study at another US school, you must make sure that your enrollment at W&M or VIMS is again active. Once you receive your acceptance, or have confirmed your enrollment, and are sure that you plan to attend W&M or VIMS, you should contact your current school's international student advisor to ask that the advisor transfer your SEVIS record to W&M or VIMS. Your advisor will need this information:

  • Search for “The College of William and Mary” in SEVIS.
  • SEVIS School Code for W&M Campus: WAS214F10684000
  • SEVIS School code for the School of Marine Science (VIMS) Campus: WAS214F10684001

Step 2: The advisor at your current school must set a future “release date” in SEVIS. This is the date that your immigration record will be released from the control of your current school and made available to W&M or VIMS.

The release date is usually set for the end of the semester, after final exams. The date may be set within a grace period (i.e., 60 days after completion of program or OPT). Students on OPT may want to select a release date closer to start of international orientation to allow them to maximize use of OPT.

Step 3: After you have completed your I-20 request in iStart, the international student advisor at the Reves Center at W&M/VIMS will access your SEVIS record and issue a W&M or VIMS Transfer Pending I-20.

Step 4: You will complete your immigration check-in. Do this as early as possible, but no later than 15 days after your program start date.

Step 5: The advisor at the Reves Center at W&M/VIMS will complete the transfer in SEVIS and register your immigration record.

Remaining in the U.S. and Travel

If your record has successfully been transferred, and William and Mary or VIMS has issued your I-20, you can remain in the U.S, as long as your new program begins within 5 months of the end date of your current program or OPT. If you are traveling abroad after your current program or OPT ends but before your program at W&M or VIMS begins, you must re-enter the United States with an I-20 from W&M or VIMS. Students on OPT may travel abroad on their current I-20 unless their SEVIS record has been released to W&M or VIMS.

Visa

When traveling abroad, you do not need to apply for a new F-1 visa unless your current visa has expired. If a new visa is required, you must apply for one using your new Transfer Pending I-20 from W&M or VIMS.

SEVIS Fee

If your SEVIS record has been released to W&M or VIMS, and you are using the new Transfer Pending I-20 from W&M or VIMS, you do not need to pay the SEVIS (I-901) Fee.

OPT

If you are on OPT, your OPT automatically ends the date your SEVIS record has been released from your new school to W&M or VIMS, if it has not already expired.

Students: Please notify the [[globe, Reves Center]] if you have travel plans so we can coordinate your I-20 issuance and mailing.

Leaving William & Mary or VIMS and attending another US school
Transfer your Immigration Record

To be eligible to transfer your immigration record to another school from W&M or VIMS, you must be in valid F-1 student status with an active SEVIS record, and must begin your new program within 5 months of the end date of your W&M/VIMS program or OPT. You must also still be in your grace period, which is 60 days after your I-20 end date (though it may end sooner if you have left the U.S.).

Leaving William and Mary or VIMS Temporarily

If you plan to attend your new school only temporarily, it's very important that you transfer your immigration record back to William & Mary or VIMS promptly at the end of your studies there. The transfer back must take place during the 60 day grace period after your new program ends, or you may need a new immigration record before attending again, which may also impact your employment eligibility. Contact Reves Staff to learn more.

How to Transfer to another School

Step 1: Login to iStart using your W&M ID and Password. Click on F-1 Student Services in the menu on the left-hand side. Click on Transfer Out Request and complete the form.

  • You will need to upload a copy of your acceptance letter or email.
  • If your new school has a transfer form that they need completed by the our office, you can also upload it to your iStart request.
  • This is only the immigration record transfer process. If you are taking a leave of absence or studying away, you must also file the appropriate paperwork with the Dean of Students Office.

Step 2: The Reves Center approves the transfer request and sets a "release date" in SEVIS. This is the date that the record will be released from the control of W&M and made available to the new school.

Release dates are usually set for the end of the semester, after final exams. Release dates may be within a grace period (i.e., 60 days after completion of program or OPT). Students on OPT may want to select a release date closer to start of their international orientation, to allow them to maximize use of OPT.

Step 3: The international student advisor at the new school will access the SEVIS record on the release date or later and issue a Transfer Pending I-20.

Step 4: You should follow the instructions from the new school regarding check-in and SEVIS registration.

Travel

If your record has successfully been transferred to your new school, and your new school has issued your I-20, you can remain in the U.S, as long as your new program begins within 5 months of the end date of your W&M or VIMS program or OPT. If you travel abroad after your W&M or VIMS program or OPT ends but before the program at your new school begins, you must re-enter the U.S. with your new school's Transfer Pending I-20. If you are on OPT, you may travel abroad using your W&M or VIMS current I-20 unless your SEVIS record has already been released by W&M or VIMS.

Visa

When traveling abroad, you do not need to apply for a new F-1 visa unless your current visa has expired. If a new visa is required, you must apply for one using your new school’s Transfer Pending I-20.

SEVIS Fee

If your SEVIS record has been released to your new school, and you are using the new Transfer Pending I-20 they give you, you do not need to pay the SEVIS (I-901) Fee.

OPT

If you are on OPT, your OPT automatically ends the date your SEVIS record has been released from W&M or VIMS to your new school, if it has not already expired.

Students: Please notify the [[globe, Reves Center]] if you have travel plans so we can coordinate your record transfer.