Welcome. This information is for recently admitted and committed USC students currently on F-1/OPT at another U.S. institution who will be transferring their SEVIS records to USC. If this is not applicable, you may have an Initial I-20 instead. Click here to go back to the main Admission I-20 Processing Information page.
Transfering Your SEVIS Record to USC
Before you can enroll in classes and begin your new USC degree program, you are required to have a valid USC I-20. Because you are currently attending another U.S. institution or are pursuing Optional Practical Training (OPT), your F-1 SEVIS record must first be transferred to USC in order for your I-20 to be issued. Admission I-20 Processing can create your I-20 only after we receive your electronic SEVIS record. This type of I-20 is known as a Transfer I-20.
Before you begin, your current institution will likely require proof that you are admitted to another U.S. school before they will transfer your record. Ensure you have official proof of admission
1) Contact the international office of your current institution and submit a request to transfer your F-1 SEVIS record to USC. USC cannot do this for you.
- SEVIS transfers typically must be requested just before you complete/graduate from your current program or during the 60 day grace period after the program ends. Policies vary by school. If you are on OPT, please note it will be terminated when your record is released to USC. Therefore, you should plan the end of your OPT employment and set your SEVIS transfer date with your international office accordingly (Information on deadlines is below).
- To be eligible to transfer your SEVIS record to USC, your USC program must begin no later than 5 months after the end of your program at your current institution or the final day of OPT. This is very important. If the time gap between the end of your current program and your USC program is greater than 5 months, your SEVIS record will automatically cancel after 5 months. USC will not accept Cancelled or Completed SEVIS records. Your international office must determine if a SEVIS transfer is appropriate based on when your current program/OPT ends. If it is not possible to do a SEVIS transfer, you can request an Initial I-20 from USC instead. Make this determination before you submit your New F-1 Student Request E-Forms in Trojan International so that USC can issue you the correct I-20.
If the time gap between the two programs is less than 5 months, you are able to remain in the U.S. until your USC program begins so long as you maintain your F-1 status with the USC Transfer I-20. If your F-1 visa has expired, you can still remain in the U.S. But if you travel outside the U.S., you will have to renew your F-1 visa with the USC I-20 before you can re-enter.
2) Provide your international office USC’s appropriate SEVIS school code.
- For students transferring to the USC University Park Campus (UPC): LOS214F00291000 (to be used by all undergraduate and graduate students attending programs other than the ones listed below. Dentistry and Gerontology students must use the UPC campus.)
- For students transferring to the USC Health Sciences Campus (HSC): LOS214F00291003 (to be used by students pursuing graduate degrees in the Keck School of Medicine, USC School of Pharmacy, Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, or USC Physical Therapy and Biokinesiology)
USC does not provide or sign transfer forms.
- For contact information, you can provide this link. If your school form requires an email, we recommend you put “N/A.”
- For phone, you may use 213-740-1111
- For DSO information, please provide “USC Admission I-20 Processing.”
- SEVIS school codes and campus names are shown above in #2.
USC will not provide students a transfer-out date. Students must determine their transfer-out date with the international office of their current school according to their own policies and procedures—taking into account factors such as OPT or graduation.. For more guidance, see the “Deadlines…” section below.
3) When you submit your New F-1 Student Request E-Forms in Trojan International, make sure you select Transfer I-20 on the New I-20 Start E-Form. On the New I-20 Current Immigration Status E-Form, make sure you select “Yes” to the first question.
It makes little difference if you submit your Trojan International E-Forms before, during, or after you request your SEVIS transfer. However, your transfer I-20 can only be issued after BOTH 1) You have submitted your E-Forms and they have been approved AND 2) Your school has transferred your SEVIS record. If you submit your E-Forms first but your SEVIS record will be transferred several weeks/months later, your I-20 will be issued after the transfer is done.
DEADLINES FOR E-FORMS AND RECEIVING YOUR RECORD
- If your program has an early deadline for you to obtain your I-20, that deadline takes priority. Confirm this with your department.
- Otherwise, E-Forms must be submitted and your SEVIS record must be received by USC no later than fifteen days before the start of your program. Take note, this is the latest a transfer I-20 can be created. Ideally, you should complete the process as early as possible to avoid complications. Once a program has begun, a transfer I-20 cannot be created.
Please also remember your current school’s international office will have its own time-frames for processing requests. If you request your SEVIS transfer too late, you run the risk of not meeting the deadlines.
Immigration Status Verification
All newly admitted international students are required to complete Immigration Status Verification (ISV) with the USC Office of International Services (OIS). ISV verifies a student’s immigration status to ensure they are eligible to start an academic program at USC. Once a student completes ISV successfully, their registration hold (STU50 or STU60) will be removed. You must have your Transfer I-20 to complete ISV. And you must complete ISV first in order to enroll.
Therefore, you should plan accordingly so that everything below is completed before the start of class:
- Request your SEVIS record transfer to USC from your current school’s international office.
- Prepare to quit your job at an appropriate time (If you are on OPT). This is your decision.
- Submit your Trojan International E-Forms to request a Transfer I-20.
- Receive your USC Transfer I-20.
- Complete ISV with OIS with your USC Transfer I-20.
- Register for class after completing ISV.
If you are unable to start classes on time, please speak with your department to discuss options.
If you wish to travel outside the U.S. during the period between your old program and your USC program:
- You must re-enter the U.S. with the new USC Transfer I-20. You cannot re-enter with your previous school’s I-20.
- If your F-1 visa is still valid, you can re-enter the U.S. with your visa + your new USC I-20. However, if the F-1 visa has expired, then you will need to use the USC I-20 to renew your visa before you can return to the U.S.
- The new USC I-20 does not require a travel signature.
- You are permitted to re-enter the U.S. before the 30 days prior to your class start. The 30 day limit applies only to Initial I-20s.
If you choose not to travel and remain in the U.S. during the 5 month gap, you can remain in the U.S. with an expired F-1 visa so long as you have a valid I-20 and you maintain your immigration status. But if you leave the U.S. at any point, you will need to renew the F-1 visa to re-enter.
RECEIVING YOUR USC TRANSFER I-20
If your Trojan International E-Forms are received and approved, your Transfer I-20 will be issued 5 to 10 business days after USC receives your SEVIS record from your previous school. The Transfer I-20 will be sent as a PDF attachment to your email.
Note: USC will search for your SEVIS record on the release date you indicated on your e-form. If we are unable to find your SEVIS record because your school has not released it on that day, your I-20 may be delayed. If your record is released to USC too close to the start of class, there is a risk your I-20 may not be issued.
PRINT Your I-20
You will need a hard copy of your I-20 to apply for your F-1 visa and to travel to the United States. Presenting your digital I-20 on your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. will not be acceptable for any official purpose. Do not leave your I-20 in your checked luggage. Make sure you do not accidentally use your old school’s I-20.
Some Things to Note About Your USC Transfer I-20
- Personal Information: The Admission Number is blank by default and cannot be changed.
- Form Issue Reason: All transfer I-20s have the “Transfer Pending” status message. This is normal and no cause for concern. You can still use this I-20 to leave and re-enter the U.S. and to renew an F-1 visa.
- Major Information: SEVIS has a fixed list of major codes. Sometimes, the SEVIS major will not match the exact name of the degree program. When your program was created, USC selected the major code that most closely matched the program’s content. U.S. consular and immigration officers are aware of this and it will not be an issue.
- English Proficiency Notes: The notes regarding English proficiency are solely for the purpose of explaining USC’s English test policy to U.S. consular and immigration officials. They do not reflect your English proficiency status with the university. No other I-20 can be issued and these notes will not impact your ability to apply for a visa.
- Estimated Average Costs: The I-20 Tuition and Living Expenses are calculated for immigration purposes only and cannot be changed. Your actual costs will vary depending on your enrollment and unique living situation.
- Scholarships: Scholarships will be included on your I-20 if we receive a notice from your department before your I-20 is issued. If you are awarded a scholarship after your I-20 has already been delivered, your I-20 will not be amended. The absence of your scholarship will not affect your ability to obtain a U.S. visa.
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