Accepted to another school in the U.S.? Congratulations! Keep reading to find out how to request a Transfer Out.

What Is A Transfer Out?

When an international student changes their enrollment from UCSB to another SEVIS-approved school in the U.S., it is called a "transfer." They are transferring out from School A (UCSB in this case), and transferring in to School B (the new school you wish to attend.) As an international student, the process of transferring means several things:

  • Transferring your enrollment
  • Transferring your academic units and credits
  • Transferring your SEVIS record 

In order to maintain your SEVIS status, you must properly request a Transfer Out from OISS so that we can transfer your SEVIS ID and record to your new school.

School Transfer vs. SEVIS Transfer

It's important to know that the word "transfer" can mean different things for an international student. For domestic students, "transfer" simply means changing enrollment from one school to another. This is why you might meet domestic students who also transferred in, such as from a community college to UCSB.

For international students, "transfer" also means that your SEVIS record (international student immigration record) is being transferred from one school to another. When done successfully, you'll have transferred your enrollment and your SEVIS record between two schools. 

If you are speaking with an advisor at either school and they use the word "transfer," you should think about what they mean. Academic advisors will typically be referring to the transfer of your enrollment and academic history (transcripts, credits, units, etc.) Immigration advisors will typically be referring to your SEVIS immigration transfer. Don't hesitate to ask the person helping you if you feel unsure.

Why Do Students Transfer Out?

International students can decide to transfer to another school in the U.S. for a variety of reasons:

  • To pursue a new degree level (high school to university, associate to bachelors, bachelors to masters, etc.)
  • To pursue a different major not offered at the current school
  • To pursue a different cultural and social environment
  • To remain in the U.S. after getting dismissed by the current school 

Students sometimes complete their degree level at UCSB, pursue OPT, and then transfer their SEVIS record to a new school where they pursue a higher degree level.

Transferring properly is a great way to maintain an active SEVIS record without any interruptions.

Important Immigration Policy Notes

If you are thinking about transferring to another school, here are some important things you should know:

  • Your SEVIS record must be active in order to be eligible for a SEVIS record transfer.
  • If you do not have an active SEVIS record, then you won't be eligible for a SEVIS transfer, but you can still obtain a new I-20 from the new school you wish to attend. (You will have to re-enter the U.S.)
  • If you have completed your program at your current school (you graduated), then you have 60 days (during your grace period) to transfer your SEVIS record. You should begin your studies at your new school at the next available academic year, or within 5 months of graduating, whichever comes sooner.
  • If you did not complete your program at your current school (you did not graduate), then you have 15 days to transfer your SEVIS record. You are required to start studying at the next available session.

What Is A SEVIS Release Date?

When you request a transfer out from UCSB, or your OPT that is sponsored by UCSB, then you will need to let us know your requested SEVIS Release Date. This is the date on which UCSB OISS will "release" your SEVIS record, and transfer it to the new school. After this date, only your new school will have access to your SEVIS record. They will then issue and manage your I-20 or DS-2019. Your SEVIS ID number will remain the same, so you will not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.

  • Your SEVIS Release Date must reflect your personal transfer eligibility timeline that we went over in the immigration policy notes above.
  • If you graduated from UCSB, your requested SEVIS release date must be on day 60 or earlier of your grace period.
  • If you are leaving UCSB before you complete your degree, then your requested SEVIS release date must be within 15 days from your withdrawal date.

If you feel confused about what your SEVIS Release Date should be, look at the SEVIS Release Date Timeline table on this page. 

Transferring Out of OPT

  • If you are currently on OPT, you are not eligible to work past your SEVIS release date. Make sure that your last day of employment with your employer is before your SEVIS release date.
  • If you have accrued more than the allotted number of unemployment days (90 for initial OPT, 120 for STEM OPT Extension), then your record will not be eligible for a SEVIS transfer.
  • If your OPT end date has either passed or not passed and you have not surpassed the allowable number of unemployment days, then you can schedule your SEVIS release date to be within the 60-day grace period following your OPT end date.

Transfer Out: SEVIS Release Date Timetable 

(Yes or No)

SEVIS Release Deadline

Must Begin Program At New School By:


Within 60 Days of Graduation (Grace Period)

Next available academic year/session or within 5 months of graduating (whichever is sooner)


Within 15 Days of the last day you sat in class

Next available academic year/session or within 5 months of graduating (whichever is sooner)

Yes - Completed OPT

Within 60 Days of Completion (Grace Period)

Next available academic year/session or within 5 months of graduating (whichever is sooner)

Yes - Withdrawing from OPT Within 15 Days of Withdrawal Next available academic year/session or within 5 months of graduating (whichever is sooner)

How To Request a Transfer Out

To request a transfer out, you will log onto the UCSBGlobal platform and choose the Leaving UCSB e-form. There you will find the Transfer Out Request. Before you do so, make sure you have the following:

  • UCSB graduation date or OPT Completion Date 
    Last day of enrollment at UCSB or last day of employment on OPT (withdrawal)
  • Requested SEVIS Release Date (read the sections above if you don't know what this is)
  • SEVIS Code for your new school
  • Copy of your acceptance letter from your new school

When you fill out the Transfer Out e-form, you will be required to enter the above information, and upload your acceptance letter. Once you submit your request, you will receive a confirmation email from OISS to notify you when your request has been approved. Your SEVIS record will be released to your new school on your requested date, unless an OISS advisor reaches out to you to select a different date in order to satisfy immigration requirements.

Transfer-In Forms from Other Schools

OISS does not complete transfer or status verification forms from other institutions as they are not a regulatory requirement for completing F-1 SEVIS transfers. OISS will only complete SEVIS transfer requests for students who have maintained F-1 status and have an ACTIVE SEVIS record. Previous program dates, work authorization, and any additional information requested on the transfer verification form are accessible in SEVIS. It is the student's responsibility to provide proof of prior work authorization, if requested. 

If your new school requests a Transfer-In form from you, please provide them with our policy and ask them for further guidance. 

Some common information your new school may ask from you:

SEVIS ID: This is on your I-20 and starts with the letter N

SEVIS Status: Unless you have been notified by OISS or it has been over 60 days since you completed your program/OPT, your SEVIS record is active. OISS will not transfer inactive SEVIS records to schools without their written authorization

Release Date: This is the date that you will indicate to OISS on your transfer out request in UCSBGlobal, generally it is the day after your final quarter at UCSB or the date you wish you end your OPT

Student Advisor Contact Information: 

Advisor Name- OISS

Advisor Email-

Advisor Phone Number- 805-893-2929