Transfer, Sevis Notification, Reporting

Law Cites 8 CFR § 214.2(f)(8) “Transfer Procedures”
8 CFR § 214.2(f)(5)(ii) “ Change in Educational Levels”
8 CFR § 214.2(f)(7) “Extend Program”
8 CFR § 214.3(g) “Record Keeping and Reporting Requirements”


The SEVIS transfer rule at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(8)(ii)(C) indicates that a SEVIS transfer release date must be at the end of the current semester or session or at the actual date of transfer, whichever is earlier. However, it appears that SEVIS RTI will permit release dates to be set during the 60-day grace period. In addition, the definition of “duration of status” at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(5)(iv) states clearly that a student has completed a course of study, the 60-day “grace period” may be used “to transfer in accordance with paragraph (f)(8) of this section.” NAFSA has argued strongly that transfer should be permitted during the grace period, as this is one of the most common times that students transfer. NAFSA is attempting to clarify this issue with DHS. Until that question is resolved, DSOs should assume that the transfer release date can be no later that the current semester or session end date until we are instructed otherwise.

The transfer rule also contains a provision that limits the hiatus between the old school and the new school to 5 month. Here is the relevant part of the regulation: “An F-1 student is not permitted to remain in the United States when transferring between schools or programs unless the student will begin classes at the transfer school or program within 5 months of the program completion date on his or her current Form I-20, whichever is earlier. In the case of an F-1 student authorized to engage in post-completion optional practical training (OPT), the student must be able to resume classes within 5 months of transferring out of the school that recommended OPT or the date the OPT authorization ends, whichever is earlier.”

Change of Level or Major

A change of level or major requires several actions in SEVIS. The DSO should:

  • Access the student SEVIS record
  • Update: “Financial Information”
  • Update: “Program Information” to reflect change in major, program level, and/or length of study
  • Extend or start new program (See note)
  • Do final submission and print new I-20

    *Note: SEVIS currently does not allow the DSO to grant an extension for a period of more than 12 months beyond the program end date in the student’s current SEVIS record.

Program Extension

A program extension is necessary if a student requires additional time to complete his/her program. A program extension must be completed in SEVIS before the current program end date.

Academic reasons can include:

  • Changes in major field of study
  • Change in research topic
  • An unexpected research problem
  • Credits lost due to school transfer
  • Inadequate time given on the original Form I-20 for the average student in the same academic program to complete the requirements
  • Authorized RCL

    *Note: SEVIS currently does not allow the DSO to grant an extension for a period of more than 12 months beyond the program end date in the student’s current SEVIS record.


The DSO must terminate a student when he/she knows that the student has violated the terms of his/her F-1 status. For students in “Initial” status, the DSO is required to terminate the student if he/she has knowledge that the student has entered the U.S. but did not register/enroll within 30 days of the school’s registration deadline. This is accomplished by terminating the student’s “Initial” status record for a reason of “no-show”.

Terminating a student for a status violation should not be done lightly. Often, there may be a question of fact that needs to be resolved before making such a determination. DSOs should discuss any termination with their PDSO before updating the SEVIS record. Schools should implement a policy concerning fact finding for different types of status violations, and have a consistent policy for when and how status violation terminations are done.