Leaving the UA
If you have been admitted to another university in the United States, you may be eligible to transfer your F-1 SEVIS record to the new school.
If your SEVIS record is transferred to a new school:
the I-20 from the new school will have the same SEVIS number as your UA I-20
you are not required to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee for your new I-20
you can remain in the United States between the end of classes at the UA and the beginning of classes at the new school
When to Apply
Your eligibility to transfer your SEVIS record to a new school depends, in part, on when you would like to transfer. In all cases, you must continue to maintain your F-1 immigration status at the UA until the date your SEVIS record is transferred to the new school.
Submit your request to ISS before the start of the semester or term you will begin your new program
Classes at the new school must begin within 5 months of the last day you attended classes at UA
Your record will not be released until the last day of final exams for the semester
If your record has not been transferred and the fall/spring semester at UA has already started, then you will be expected to enroll full-time at the UA
If you have on-campus employment, your work authorization will end the date that your SEVIS record is transferred to the new school
After the First Day of the Fall or Spring Semester
Only an option if your new program starts before the end of the current semester at the UA
You must remain enrolled full-time at the UA and continue to attend classes until the date your SEVIS record is transferred to the new school
Review the Bursar’s Office Dates and Deadlines to find out the last day you can withdraw from the UA and still receive a full refund
Classes at the new school must begin within 5 months of the last day you attended classes at the UA
Your SEVIS record must be transferred to the new school before the end of the 60-day grace period following your degree completion or program end date on the I-20, whichever is earlier
Review Academic Changes: Program End Date for more information about determining your program end date
Your record can be transferred before your OPT has ended or during the 60-day grace period after your OPT has ended
Classes at your new school must begin within 5 months of the day your record is transferred or the end date of your OPT (whichever is earlier)
If you transfer your record before your EAD card expires, then you will lose any remaining days of OPT work authorization
Select a transfer release date so you do not accrue too many days of unemployment (limit is 90 days for students on post-completion OPT and 150 days for students on STEM OPT extension)
How to Apply
Upload a copy of your new school's admissions letter and (if applicable) transfer in form to the Transfer Out e-form in UA International. Normal processing time is 5 business days.
Students with Terminated Records
It is extremely uncommon for schools to accept transferred records in terminated status. If your SEVIS record has been terminated, or you have been notified that your record will be terminated, then you are not eligible for a SEVIS transfer, unless your new school provides written confirmation to ISS that they want us to transfer your record in terminated status. You should contact the international student advisor at your new school to find out the steps to reestablish your F-1 status.
After your record is transferred to the new school, your UA I-20 will no longer be valid. If you will travel outside the U.S. after your record has been transferred, you must re-enter the U.S. with the I-20 from the new school.
Study in the States: Instructions for Transferring to Another School as an F-1 Student
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Transfer for F-1 Students
Depending on eligibility, students may wish to file for Leave of Absence. Please refer to appropriate link below:
- Undergraduate students -
The Undergraduate Student Leave of Absence assists and encourages students to return and graduate after a one or two semester absence from campus. Students with this status need not apply for or pay readmission fees, and may register for classes during their priority registration period. For more information, see the UA General Catalog.
- Graduate students -
Graduate students must refer to website below to review times of absences and continuous enrollment requirements. For more information, check the Graduate College website.
All international students in F1 or J1 status are required to meet with International Student Advisor as part of processing their paperwork.
Outside the US but enrolled at UA
Students considering participation in a UA Study Abroad program with enrollment at UA must with ISS advisor to ensure proper handling of documents. Depending of duration and type of program will determine how your I-20 is handled and if additional remarks are needed to be made on your document to ensure your return and discuss US visas. UA also handles National Student Exchange program allowing students to study at other US universities for a period of time while maintaining UA enrollment. We encourage all students to enhance their academic programs through such educational opportunities.
Graduate students who have completed all coursework and are conducting research or doing field study often do so outside the US. Before departing, please see and ISS advisor to discuss your plans, enrollment requirements to maintain your F-1 status, and any impact of eligibility of your F-1 status. Choosing to remain enrolled full time while outside the US versus choosing to be less than full time will be discussed for full understanding of your immigration options.
Withdrawing/leaving UA and not completing degree
There may be many reasons that you may decide or choose to leave the UA prior to completing your degree. If you are not transferring to another US institution, you must fill out an Authorized Early withdrawal form with ISS. ISS will then terminate your I-20 and you must plan to leave the U.S. within 15 days. Failure to NOT get approval from Designated School Official (DSO) in ISS will result in a negative termination reason and there is no grace period in which to leave the US. If a student plans to return to the University of Arizona at the start of the next semester, he or she should request a new “Initial” Form I-20 (new SEVIS ID will be assigned) approximately 4-5 months prior to a new program start date. If students plan to return to UA beyond the next full semester, ISS advisors will consult and refer to appropriate Admissions offices regarding this process. Meeting with an ISS advisor will assist you in ensuring proper handling of your immigration, time frame for departure, and if necessary, referral to appropriate offices for your later return.
Authorized Early Withdrawal Form must be filed prior to student’s departure from the U.S. in order to properly end his or her F-1 status. Failure to do so may negatively impact student’s future entry to the U.S. Students must consult with an ISS advisor prior to a departure.
Note 1: Student must not continue any employment beyond the Form I-20 termination date
Note 2: Student will be subject to SEVIS I-901 fee if he or she returns on a new initial Form I-20
Note 3: Student will not be able to apply for a practical training (CPT/OPT) until he or she enrolls for two semesters after return
Note 4: If a student files for leave of absence due to severe illness, he or she may be qualified for medical full-time exemption. In this situation, a student should consult with an ISS advisor before filing for a leave of absence to discuss eligibility.
Graduating before Form I-20 expires
If your Form I-20 is valid beyond your graduation date, please see an ISS advisor so that we can appropriately shorten your Form I-20. You still will have 60 days in which to depart the U.S. or change your immigration status. Failure to inform our office may result in your status being terminated for “Failure to Enroll” for the next semester. If you have applied for OPT, then you need not inform us as we have already processed the necessary paperwork. As you prepare to graduate, be sure that your Bursar’s account is paid in full and that you have updated your address in UAccess.
Your diploma will be sent to the location that you have listed as your permanent address. Most international student's permanent addresses are in their home country. Therefore, that is where your diploma will be sent. If you do NOT want your diploma sent to your home country, please go to student link and create a new address and indicate its type as 'diploma'. You should create your diploma address before the semester is over.