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For F-1 Transfer Students

Congratulations on your admission to Cornell! Here are the steps you need to follow to transfer your immigration status to Cornell. 

  1. Visit
  2. Choose Date
  3. Get I-20
  4. Check In

1 Visit your current school’s international office.

Bring your Cornell acceptance letter, as well as any forms from your Cornell program's admissions office that you need the advisor to complete. This may include a special transfer form. Follow the directions on the forms to return them to your Cornell admissions office.

2 Decide on a release date.

Be sure to discuss any interim travel or work plans! Your advisor will enter the date in the SEVIS database. Your SEVIS record will transfer to Cornell on the release date.

If you are graduating from your current school and plan to enter a program at Cornell, discuss your transfer with your international office no more than 60 days after you graduate. Your release date can be later, but the date must be entered in the SEVIS database before the end of your 60-day grace period.

3 Get an I-20 from your Cornell admissions office.

After the release date, your Cornell admissions office will produce an I-20 for you within two to three weeks. The admissions office will require you to show proof of funding before issuing the Cornell I-20.

4 Made it to Ithaca? Remember to check in.

Complete the check-in procedure on our website. Do not visit our office to check in.

I’m taking Summer Session courses at Cornell. Do I need to transfer my immigration status?

No. If you plan to return to your current school in the fall, you don’t need to transfer your SEVIS record to study at Cornell during the summer.

I’m transferring between colleges at Cornell. Will my immigration status change?

No. Cornell University will continue to sponsor your visa. Visit the Office of Global Learning to update your I-20. Get help navigating the transfer process between Cornell colleges from the Office of Internal Transfer.

I’m a J-1 transfer student.

Most students transferring to Cornell have F-1 status. The procedures for J-1 transfers are similar, but there are minor differences. For instance, you have a 30-day grace period after graduation, instead of 60 days. Visit the Office of Global Learning for more specifics.

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