SEVIS Regulations in Effect During COVID-19
Virtual, or Online Classes, and SEVIS Transfers
SCENARIO 1: Student Has Remained in the U.S. since March 2020
Transfer-in students who have remained in the U.S. in active status and are starting a new program of study that is virtual (online) – may remain in the U.S.
- If you stayed in the U.S. since March 2020, procedures are the same as pre-COVID: You will be registered in SEVIS (will continue to be active in SEVIS) and will be eligible for a travel I-20, as usual.
SCENARIO 2: Student Left the U.S. due to COVID-19
Transfer-in students who were transferred while outside of the U.S. must remain outside of the U.S.
- You can take courses virtually while living outside of the U.S. All your grades and credit for courses are permanent and treated the same as in-person, or face-to-face, classwork.
- While outside of the U.S., your I-20 cannot be activated. In fact, I-20s will be temporarily inactive (temporarily invalid).
VERY IMPORTANT! Understand the Process to Return to the United States.
When CSUN/Tseng College announces a return to normal operations (resumes face-to-face classes), you must have a reactivated Form I-20 to return to Northridge.
Follow these steps:
- Contact ARC (International Office in Tseng College) to confirm that you want to return to the U.S. to enroll in face-to-face courses and give ARC the exact date you plan to return. the date cannot be more than 60 days prior to the session or semester start date.
- ARC must report to SEVIS each individual student’s planned re-entry date into the U.S. AND request to have his or her I-20 re-activated.
- After SEVIS re-activates a student’s Form I-20, ARC prints and signs I-20 and sends it to student.
- You cannot return to the U.S. until you receive your Active I-20 in the mail.
Things to know about Transferring in SEVIS
The following refers only to transferring when in status. If your I-20 has been terminated or completed by your current school, you are not in status.
- When you transfer to another school, you keep the same SEVIS ID number. Your SEVIS ID number is the number on your I-20 that begins with ‘N’ and is followed by 10 numbers.
- Since you keep the same SEVIS ID number (when you transfer in status), you do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again.
- You can be in or out of the U.S. when a SEVIS transfer occurs. It is not necessary to be in the U.S. when your SEVIS record is transferred.
- However, if you travel when you are transferring to a new school, make sure that you have the new school’s I-20 – the original I-20 – with you when you re-enter the U.S. See ‘Traveling and Transferring’ below.
- All F-1 students have 60 days after the last day of the session or semester to transfer in SEVIS to a new school. These 60 days are called the ‘Grace Period.’
- Although SEVIS transfers must occur no later than 60 days after your last class, you can – and should - submit your request as early as possible.
- Requests received during the last week of a student’s grace period will still be accepted but there is no guarantee that the request can be processed before the 60-day grace period ends.
- You are expected to complete your last session in your current program.
SEVIS Transfers – Transfer out to a new school
ALL Tseng College students – every F-1 student in the Tseng College including IEP students: Submit transfer requests to the Office of Admissions, Registration and Client Services (ARC) in EU 200.
Required Documents to Transfer in SEVIS to a New School
- Submit a Transfer-Out Request form and
- WRITTEN PROOF OF ADMISSION TO THE NEW SCHOOL.
Special – SEVIS Transfers to CSUN
Future Release Dates
- After deciding on the ONE school you definitely want to transfer to, request a SEVIS transfer. After you have proof of admission to the new school, you can submit your transfer request as early as possible. OK to submit it before the current session ends.
- The transfer request is entered into SEVIS with a future release date (usually the last day of session). Although it is not possible for the transfer-in school to issue your I-20 until the release date, they see your name in their SEVIS database and know you plan to attend their school.
- Once your transfer release date arrives, the DSO at your previous school will not have access to your SEVIS record, and your new DSO can create a transfer Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status,” for you.
- To maintain your status, register for classes and/or contact your new international office within 15 days of the program start date listed on your new Form I-20.
Traveling and Transferring
If traveling while between schools, you must use the new school’s I-20 to re-enter the United States.
The school name on your F-1 visa will no longer match the school name on your I-20, but that is an acceptable and normal occurrence as long as:
- You are in status in SEVIS (your I-20 is not Terminated),
- Your F-1 visa is not expired,
- You have been out of the country less than 5 months, and
- You are re-entering the US to begin studies at your new school before the start date on your I-20.
Just a Transfer Verification form for a Possible New School
- Students often investigate a few schools before deciding on which one to transfer to. Some schools ask for a transfer verification form to be filled out in the early stages of applying.
- If you have a form ONLY – not an admit letter – just a form, submit this special transfer verification request, and attach the form you received from the other school. We will fill out and sign the form.
- You will NOT be transferred in SEVIS.
- You must request a SEVIS transfer to actually be transferred in SEVIS
Important! Terminated or Completed I-20s
I-20s in Terminated or Completed status will only be transferred out if the transfer-in school clearly gives its consent to a Tseng College DSO (in ARC, in EU 200) to accept a student in Terminated or Completed status.
Transferring Immediately After Arriving in the U.S.
- If you have recently arrived in the United States but want to transfer to a new school before you begin classes at the school listed on your Form I-20, request a SEVIS transfer at the school listed on your I-20.
- You must show proof of acceptance to your new school in order to request a SEVIS transfer.
- A transfer under these circumstances is only possible if the new school begins within 30 days of your arrival into the U.S.
- You must report to your new school and enroll in a full course of study within 30 days of arriving in the United States.
- Many schools, including this school’s IEP, will not refund tuition payments if a student used their I-20 to enter the United States.
SEVIS Transfer – Transfer INTO the Tseng College
The Tseng College does not require a transfer verification form when students transfer INTO The Tseng College. However, sometimes students’ current school requests a transfer verification form from their new school (that’s us – The Tseng College). Use this link to print a SEVIS Transfer Verification form for your current school if they request a transfer verification form.
Students transferring INTO a Tseng College program should check-in with ARC (Office of Admissions, Registration, and Client Services on the 2nd Floor of the Extended University (EU) Commons Building, within 15 days of the start date of their program.
Traveling and Transferring
If traveling while between schools, you must use the I-20 issued by the Tseng College (your ‘transfer I-20’) to re-enter the United States.
- The school name on your F-1 visa will no longer match the school name on your I-20, but that is fine. See ‘Traveling and Transferring’ above.