Universities are required to inform US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of all F-1 transfers from one school to another, regardless of whether or not the student intends to travel outside of the United States. An F-1 transfer means that you entered the U.S. on one school’s I-20, and you are changing to the I-20 of another school.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): 8 CFR 214.2 (f)(8)(i)
- The start date at your new school must be within 5 months of your "transfer out" date in SEVIS or your program completion, whichever is earlier;
- You must currently be maintaining F-1 status;
- If you have already graduated, you must be within your 60-day grace period.
Transfer to George Mason University
You must first be admitted to George Mason University BEFORE you can transfer your F-1 record to George Mason University. You must complete the F-1 Student Transfer Eligibility Form, notify the school you are currently attending of your intent to transfer to George Mason University and submit supporting documents to OIPS. In addition, you must report to the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) no later than 15 days after the start date indicated on your Mason I-20 to complete the transfer process.
Transfer to Another School
You must first apply and be accepted to the new school BEFORE you can request a transfer from George Mason University to another school in the US. You may transfer your F-1 status at the end of the current semester, upon completion of your studies, or during/after finishing OPT. You may transfer during your post-completion OPT grace period. If you request a transfer and will begin your study before the OPT end date, the remainder of your OPT will be cancelled.
Transfer to George Mason University Checklist
1. Download and complete section A of the F-1 Student Transfer Eligibility form
2. Ask a Designated School Official (DSO) at your current school to complete section B
2. Notify the school you are currently attending of your intent to transfer to George Mason University. Your current immigration advisor will update your SEVIS record to indicate your intent to transfer to GMU and will enter a “transfer release date”. On that date your SEVIS record will become accessible to GMU’s Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS).
3. Return this F-1 Student Transfer Eligibility Form to OIPS, with a copy of the following documents attached:
- Copy of passport identification pages, showing expiration date
- Copy of most recent visa in passport
- Copy of I-94 card
- Copies of all I-20s issued to you by previous schools
- Report to OIPS no later than 15 days after the start date indicated on your GMU I-20 to complete the transfer process. Bring all immigration and travel documents with you.
Students who transfer to Mason must check in with OIPS within 15 days of the start date listed on your Transfer-Pending I-20. After you have checked in, you will be notified when your Continued Attendance I-20 is ready for pick up. This indicates your SEVIS record has been registered and the transfer in process has been completed.
Link to International Student Check-in Form: https://oips.gmu.edu/international-student-check-in-form/
Important: A hold will be put on the account of students who fail to check in with OIPS.