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F-1: Transferring Schools

For SEVIS purposes, "transferring" schools can occur anytime a student goes from one school to the next, regardless of whether the program or degree changes. In other words, you can be a "transfer student" if you are moving from high school to college, or changing from a bachelor's program to a master's program, or if you are transferring between schools in the middle of a degree program.

Transferring into JMU

Those students in F-1 status wanting to transfer to James Madison University must first be accepted through the application process administered through International Admissions. As part of the admissions process, applicants will need to complete the International Student Advisor's Report (ISAR) or Transfer In form.   The following steps will assist you in the SEVIS transfer process:

  • After your acceptance into JMU make an appointment with your current Designated School Official (DSO) to inform him/her that you plan to transfer; If you have been accepted to more than one university/college, you need to decide on only one school. This particular university's name needs to be documented in SEVIS at your current school;
  • When you are sure you want to transfer to JMU, your DSO must enter a "release date" from your present school, selecting JMU as the transfer school. The "release date" is usually the last day of your session at the current school;
  • After the deposit has been received and the release date has arrived, JMU can issue you a new SEVIS I-20 showing the transfer of the F-1 visa sponsorship. Your new JMU SEVIS I-20 will be mailed to you. (Please note that you can cancel a transfer request only before the "release date")

Transferring out of JMU

If you plan to transfer out of JMU into another school, you must first notify International Student & Scholar Services of your intent to transfer. The following steps will assist you in the process:

  • After your acceptance into the other school, learn about their procedures for the SEVIS transfer.  You might want to contact their school's Designated School Official (DSO) or the Admissions Office for information, then follow their procedures;
  • When you have made the decision about which school you plan to attend, you will need to submit the Transfer Out Form and the letter of acceptance from the other school to International Student & Scholar Services; 
  • We will enter a "release date" from JMU into SEVIS, selecting the new school as the transfer school. The "release date" is usually the last day of the current academic session;
  • Notify your new school's DSO that the release date has been entered by JMU and, once that date is reached, the new school can issue you your new I-20. (Please note that you can cancel a transfer request only before the "release date.")