Three Steps for Transferring to a New University While Maintaining Your F-1 Visa

You have achieved your dream of studying at a university in the United States. However, the university you have chosen isn’t what you expected and you have decided to transfer to another school. As you need to keep your F-1 student visa, there are various guidelines you need to follow. Fortunately, this isn’t a difficult process.

Step One; Even if you are dissatisfied with the university you are currently attending, you need to maintain your student status. This means that you must maintain a full course load and pass all of your classes. There are two reasons for this. First, you cannot transfer from one university to another if you have dropped out or failed out. Second, maintaining your student status is necessary for keeping your visa. If you have not maintained your status, you will need to apply to reinstate the visa. This can be a complicated process and it’s best to seek the guidance of immigration law firm Atlanta or another law firm in your area.

Step Two; The second step is to apply to and be accepted by a recognized university. You can check with the Department of Homeland Security to ascertain which are recognized. Each school has its own application procedure and it’s best to consult the universities’ websites for specific instructions.

Step Three; Once you have been accepted by your new university, they will provide you with an I-20 form. Complete this and submit it to the foreign student liaison officer at the new school immediately. You must also inform the liaison officer at your current university of your intention to transfer and provide them with a copy of your acceptance letter from the new institution. The officer at your new university will be responsible for providing you with a new I-20 ID and for notifying the Student and Exchange Visitor Program that you have transferred. 

Transferring may seem like a daunting prospect. It might feel even more so if you need to retain your visa. Nonetheless, it will be worth it once you are happily settled at your new university.