If you are currently in F-1 status from another U.S. institution and intend to begin your studies at Benedict College, you are considered a “Transfer Student” by the OIP for the purposes of issuing an I-20. A transfer of the supervision of your F-1 status from your old or current school to Benedict College is required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). You will be considered a transfer student if one of the following applies to you:
- You are in the middle of a degree program and are leaving that program to begin at Benedict College.
- You are in the 3-2 engineering program.
- You will have completed a degree program at your current institution and will begin a new degree program at Benedict College.
- You are currently authorized for OPT from another school and will begin a new degree program at Benedict College.
Students doing a joint degree program between Benedict College and an institution overseas are not considered transfer students by DHS.
There are three steps required to complete the transfer process.
Step 1. Request Transfer and Submit Documents to OIP
Once you have learned of your admission to Benedict College and have accepted the offer, you will need to submit the online Application for Visa Certificate and submit the required documentation as explained in the online AVC instructions. You will also need to notify your current international student advisor of your intention to transfer to Benedict College.
Download the Transfer In Form and complete Section 1. You should bring this with you when you meet with your international student advisor. When you meet with the advisor, you will determine the release date of your SEVIS record so they can do the transfer-out procedure. The release date is the date that your SEVIS record will become available to the OIP. The OIP will not be able to issue your I-20 until the release date has passed. The transfer-out procedure must be requested within 60 days of completing your program at your current school though the actual release date may be later. F-1 regulations allow a student to work in the summer between schools on the campus that maintains supervision of the SEVIS record so you may want to take this into consideration when choosing your release date. You should also consider any plans to travel outside the U.S. (i.e. if you have a release date of August 15 and are planning to re-enter the U.S. on August 20, this will not be enough time to get your I-20 to you before you return).
Your international student advisor will complete Section 2 of the transfer-in form and return it to Benedict College.
Step 2. Wait for your I-20 and Prepare for arrival in Columbia, South Carolina
The OIP will create your I-20 and send it to you. If you are traveling or moving during the break before coming to Benedict College, remember to update the OIP with your current address so the I-20 is sent to the correct location.
If you plan to travel outside the U.S. after completing your studies at your previous institution but before starting your program at Benedict College, you must use Benedict College’s I-20 to re-enter the U.S. If you have a valid, unexpired F-1 visa in your passport, you do not need to apply for a new visa. You may use the visa you have, even though the previous school’s name is on it. If your visa has expired, you will need to apply for a new F-1 visa at the consulate; however, you are not required to pay the SEVIS fee. Go to the SEVIS website for confirmation that you do not need to pay the SEVIS fee.
If you are not planning to leave the U.S. before arriving at Benedict College, you will simply receive the I-20 and report to the OIP upon arrival.
Step 3. Complete the Transfer Process
Upon arriving at Benedict College, you must report to the OIP to complete the transfer process. You are required to report in person to the OIP no later than 15 days after the start date on your I-20; we recommend that you come to complete the transfer as soon as you arrive at Benedict College. If you fail to report within this time frame, you will be in violation of your F-1 status. When you come to report to the OIP, you should bring your passport, I-94 card, and I-20 from Benedict College.
You are required to register for full-time studies at Benedict College in the first available term after leaving your previous school or the first term after the summer vacation period.