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Information for F-1 Transfer-In Students

For F-1 immigration purposes, you are considered a “SEVIS transfer” student if you have been studying in F-1 status at another institution and will be transferring your active SEVIS immigration record to Hopkins to start a new academic program. This transfer status is for immigration purposes only and may or may not be your academic status as a student at JHU.

*You may be able to transfer-in your completed or terminated SEVIS record to JHU. Once the transfer is completed, you will need to file for reinstatement. Alternatively, you may request a new SEVIS record, travel, and re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status using the new I-20.

Requesting a SEVIS Transfer:

  1. Contact your current school/immigration sponsor to confirm your eligibility for a SEVIS transfer.
    • Please note the transfer must be requested within a certain timeframe following completion of your current program/OPT period, so work with your current school to establish that timeline and prevent issues during the transfer process.
  2. Follow your current school’s process to request a SEVIS Transfer out. Provide JHU’s Transfer In Form as part of the request.
    • Your transfer release date must be BEFORE the start of your JHU program (ideally at least 10 business days prior).
  3. Once you have completed the JHU Transfer In Form, upload it to your New International Student Form in iHopkins.
  4. Once your New International Student Form is complete, submit it to OIS.
    • You can and should submit your New International Student Form to OIS prior to your SEVIS release date so we can review your documents and ensure there are no issues.
    • However, OIS cannot issue your new I-20 until after your SEVIS release date.
  5. You will receive an email from OIS once your Transfer Pending I-20 has been issued – within 10 business days of your submission OR your transfer release date, whichever is later.
  6. Complete OIS Check-in at the appropriate time, depending on your travel plans and individual timeline – no later than 15 days after the start of term.

Transfer Pending I-20

After processing your transfer in SEVIS, OIS will issue your I-20 with a “Transfer Pending” notation as the reason for issue. This is normal and it means your SEVIS record has been properly transferred. Once you complete OIS check-in and start your program, any subsequently issued I-20s will show the transfer is complete.

Remaining in the US Between Programs

Transfer-in students can remain within the US between programs as long as their SEVIS transfer occurs within the appropriate timeframe and the Transfer Pending I-20 is timely issued. OIS Check-in must be completed for your new program regardless of international travel.

Travel with the Transfer Pending I-20

If you are outside the US when the transfer I-20 is issued, you will be eligible to enter the US any time before the start of your program at JHU. There is no 30 day entry limitation for Transfer-In students. You must have a valid visa at the time of entry and must apply for a new visa if the current visa in your passport is expired or will expire before your travel date.

In addition, please note a travel signature is not required when OIS issues the Transfer Pending I-20, and it is not necessary when entering for the first time prior to start of your program at JHU. After you have arrived and completed OIS check-in, a travel signature will be required for subsequent trips outside the US.

SEVIS Transfers and Work Authorization

In addition, SEVIS Transfer-in students can often work on-campus at JHU between programs, although JHU student employment policies may limit this (please contact your admitting department/potential employer for details). However, your SEVIS record must be released to JHU, your JHU I-20 must be issued, and you must complete OIS check-in prior to engaging in any on-campus work.

Transfer-in students who have been in status for 1 full academic year prior to starting at JHU and were not on a period of OPT/STEM OPT may be eligible for CPT in their first semester.

Transfer students who have been on a full year period of OPT or STEM OPT are not eligible for CPT in their first academic year. If their OPT was during the summer break between programs, they may be eligible for CPT.