University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

New Students

Visa Status Transfer

You are considered a "Visa Status Transfer Student" if you currently hold F-1 or J-1 status at another institution in the United States and plan to remain in the same immigration status (F-1 or J-1) when at the UMN. This includes students who are transferring to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities from another UMN school or the Minnesota English Language program. If this does not describe you, you may skip this section.

How to Transfer Your Visa

F-1 Transfer Students

The F-1 transfer process involves several steps, all of which must be carried out to complete your transfer.

  1. Contact the international student advising office at your current institution and inform them of your intent to transfer to the University of Minnesota. An adviser at your current school will need to set up your SEVIS record to transfer to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities after you finish classes there.
  2. Undergraduate and Professional Degree Students must complete a Transfer Release form.
  3. A. You should complete section #1 of the Transfer Release form.

    B. An international adviser at your current institution must complete section #2 of the Transfer Release form. They must then email it to, or fax it to 612-626-7361.

    C. If you are a graduate student and you indicated on your financial certification form that you are transferring your F-1 record to UMN-TC, the Graduate School will email you. You do not need to complete the form.

    * Your I-20 cannot be processed before your SEVIS record has been transferred to the UMN.

  4. A University of Minnesota "Transfer Pending" I-20 record will be created within two to three weeks after the record from your previous school has been received. This is a TEMPORARY I-20 that will expire 15 days after the start of the semester.
  5. Complete your Immigration Check-In after arriving at the UMN.
  6. Update your “Mailing Address” (your local Minnesota address) through the “My Info” tab on MyU . Directions are here.
  7. Register for course full-time at the University.
  8. You will receive an email from ISSS within the first two weeks of the semester indicating your University of Minnesota "Transfer Completed" I-20 is available for pick up at ISSS (190 Humphrey School). This is your official University of Minnesota I-20, and you are required to pick up this document. Failure to do so could put your F-1 status at risk.

J-1 Transfer Students

  1. Meet with a J-1 adviser at your current school to discuss your intent to transfer to the University of Minnesota and to determine a SEVIS transfer "effective date."
  2. Complete and submit to ISSS the DS-2019 Application for New J-1 Degree-Seeking Applicants.
  3. Ask the J-1 adviser at your current school to transfer your SEVIS record to the University of Minnesota.
  4. Once your transfer becomes effective, meet with Julie Halfen (or Gabriele Schmiegel for sponsored students) at ISSS within 25 days to complete the Immigration Check-In and to obtain your University of Minnesota DS-2019.

Traveling During the Transfer Process

If you are currently on an F-1 or J-1 student visa and you are traveling outside the U.S. before starting your UMN studies, you need to obtain a temporary "transfer pending" I-20 or a new DS-2019 to re-enter the United States. You may request a "transfer pending" I-20 or new DS-2019 after your record has been released to UMN by your previous institution. If you cannot obtain your I-20 before departing the U.S. you must arrange for it mailed to your overseas address.

You must also have a valid entry F-1 or J-1 visa in your passport. If if has not expired, you may use the F-1 entry visa from your previous educational institution to re-enter the United States. If you have a J-1 visa, contact an ISSS adviser.