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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. Status Activation

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 activate your status!

Complete the Required Status Activation procedure on our website. Do not visit our office to activate your status.

Do I need to quarantine when I arrive?

Learn everything you need to know about quarantine, campus arrival, and move-in on Cornell's COVID and campus reactivation website.

If I transfer my SEVIS record to Cornell for fall 2020, will I be considered a continuing or new student?

If you’re already in the United States, or if you enter the United States and activate your status with International Services, you are considered a continuing student in SEVIS. If you’re outside of the United States for the fall 2020 semester, your SEVIS record will remain in initial status, and you are considered a new student in SEVIS. There may be an impact to your SEVIS record if you are unable to activate your status. Contact us if you are transferring, and you are not in the U.S.

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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