SEVIS Transfer-In Process


This information is for newly certified USC students who are currently attending another U.S. institution or are pursuing Optional Practical Training (OPT) and need to transfer their SEVIS records to USC.

Transferring Your SEVIS Record to USC

Your F-1 SEVIS record must be transferred to USC before your USC I-20 can be issued. This type of I-20 is known as a Transfer I-20.

  1. Contact the international office of your current institution and submit a request to transfer your F-1 SEVIS record to USC. You may need to provide proof of your admission to USC. USC cannot do this for you.

SEVIS transfers must be requested just before you complete or 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, it will be terminated when your record is released to USC. Plan the end of your OPT employment and set your SEVIS transfer date with your international office accordingly. (Deadline information below.)

Your USC program must begin no later than five (5) months after the end of your current program or OPT. This is very important. Your SEVIS record will be cancelled automatically after five 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 complete a SEVIS transfer, you can request an Initial I-20 from USC instead.

If you are able to acquire a USC transfer I-20, you can 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. You can remain in the U.S. even if your F-1 visa has expired. If you travel outside the U.S., you will have to renew your F-1 visa with a USC I-20 before you can re-enter.

  1. Provide the international office of your current school with USC’s appropriate SEVIS school code.
    • LOS214F00291000 for undergraduate or graduate students transferring to:
      • USC University Park Campus (UPC) only, including Dentistry and Gerontology students.
    • LOS214F00291003 for graduate students transferring to: 
      • USC Health Sciences Campus (HSC), including the Keck School of Medicine, Mann School of Pharmacy, Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, or USC Physical Therapy and Biokinesiology.
  2. If your school requests USC’s information:
    • For USC’s contact information, you can provide this Email Us link. If your school form requires an email address, we recommend you put “N/A.”
    • Our phone number: (213) 740-1111.
    • For DSO information, please provide “USC Admission I-20 Processing.”
    • USC does not provide or sign transfer forms.

USC will not provide students a transfer-out date. Students must determine their transfer-out date with the international office of their current school. For more guidance, see the “Deadlines” section below.

  1. 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, select “Yes” to the first question.

Your Transfer I-20 can be issued only after your school has transferred your SEVIS record AND your e-forms have been approved.

Deadlines for E-Forms and Receiving your I-20

  1. Note if your USC academic department has an early deadline for transferring your I-20. This deadline will take priority.
  2. Otherwise, USC must receive your e-forms and SEVIS record no later than fifteen days before the start of your program. 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.

Keep in mind that your current school’s international office will have its own deadlines for processing requests. Make sure that you submit your transfer request in time.

Traveling Overseas Between Programs

If you wish to travel outside the U.S. during the period between your old program and your USC program:

  1. 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.
  2. If your F-1 visa is still valid, you can re-enter the U.S. with your visa and your new USC I-20. If the F-1 visa has expired, you will need to use the USC I-20 to renew your visa before you can return to the U.S.
  3. The new USC I-20 does not require a travel signature.
  4. You are permitted to re-enter the U.S. sooner than 30 days prior to your class start. The 30-day limit applies only to Initial I-20s.

If you choose to remain in the U.S. during the five-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.

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. Check your USC email frequently. The Transfer I-20 will be located in the “Documents” section of Trojan International as a downloadable PDF link.

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 too close to the start of your USC classes, 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, so 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.