Taking Transfer To A Different University MS In US:
Many students pursuing MS in the US wishes to transfer from the university they got their visa. There could be several reasons for such decision. In many cases, students discover that the cost of living is too high in their university. So, they want to move to a university which is more affordable and less tuition fee. In some cases, students take transfer because their friends are studying in a different university.
Whatever the reason might be, one should be clear with transfer process in order to avoid unnecessary troubles. The important points to be kept in mind and the process of transfer is given below.
I-20 Of The New University
If you want to move to a new university before the first semester starts in your current one, then you need to have the I-20 of the new university before seeking admission there. So, you need to apply to the university while you are in India itself and should be holding a valid I-20 from that university.
However, if you intend to take transfer after the first semester, you can apply for I-20 after reaching the US.
Will your credits get transferred to the new university if you shift after the first semester? Well, the answer is yes and no. Yes in the case of those courses which are mandatory in the new university also. No, in the case of any course which is not related to your Major or those courses which do not meet the university standards. For example, if you are pursuing MS in Computer Science but did a course in English Literature or American History, the credits earned towards these courses will not be transferred to your new university. Further, the prerequisite courses you did in your current university may not be considered by the new one and you may be asked to take a prerequisite course again.
Some universities set a limit on the number of credits you can transfer. For example, a university may say that you cannot transfer more than 33% of credits from your previous university. So, if your program is for 36 credits, you cannot transfer more than 12 credits. So, a lot depends on the university to which you are seeking a transfer. Do not forget to check with the admissions department of the university before you decide to move.
- Fill the transfer form, at the new University
- The new university sends your request for transfer to your current university
- The current university releases SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) record to your new university
- Officially, you are a student of the new university now!
Note that all the process can take place online. You need not physically visit the new university to fill and submit the transfer form. The only time when you might need to do some offline work is to approach the international student advisor/designated school official (DSO) or head of the department at your current university to request to release SEVIS record soon or seek approval for transfer respectively.
While the transfer process is simple you should take few precautions.
Have a set of bank statement, affidavit, certificates etc. the new university may ask for them. Most universities ask for a 3-month bank statement while some insist on providing a 6-month statement. In rare cases, a university may ask for a just 1-month statement. Check with the admissions department of the current university to avoid the last-minute rush.
Maintain good rapport with current university officials, who plays a direct role in approving your transfer. If not, you may not be permitted to transfer. In worst cases, they might even terminate your SEVIS record if you desperately want to transfer. (for example, many universities do not allow you to seek a transfer in the first semester).
well, what terminating SEVIS record means?
SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. US government uses this internet based system to maintain information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS record contains information regarding your personal, financial, MS program details, your US address, when you entered the US, student employment information etc.
“Out of status” case:
You become “Out of Status” If your SEVIS record is terminated. i.e. you lose your legal status as a student who came on F1 visa to study and cannot stay in the US for more than 5 months. To get reinstatement, you have to approach your new university and seek their help.
In case you do not get any help from your new university or apply for reinstatement after 5 months of going out of status, you may have to leave the US. You may apply for F1 visa again after coming back to India but we are not sure that you will get a visa. However, if you manage to get the F1 visa. you will have a new SEVIS when you enter the US this time and it will not contain information regarding you going out of status in your previous stint.
So, plan everything properly, keep all the required documents in hand, follow the deadlines and be polite with the staff at the current university.