Transfer Students

International transfer students are students currently studying at another US institution in valid F-1/J-1 status, who will be transferring to USC. The Graduate Admissions (GA) Office issues the USC transfer I-20/DS-2019 to international transfer students. For questions regarding the USC transfer I-20/DS-2019, please contact the the GA Office.

In order to complete the immigration transfer process to USC, it is imperative that the student meets the requirements below to maintain legal status in the US.  

F-1 Students

  • Student’s current institution must release the SEVIS record to USC
  • This will enable GA to issue a USC “transfer pending” I-20
  • Please make sure that the transfer I-20 issued by USC indicates the notation “transfer pending from (name of previous institution)” in line #3 of page 1

J-1 Students

  • J-1 students who have been granted a “D/S” (duration of status) at the Port of Entry must take the DS-2019 to the J-1 Responsible Officer at their current school
  • Student’s current J-1 sponsor must release the SEVIS records to USC so a new USC DS-2019 can be issued from the GA office

International Travel and Re-entry Prior to Beginning Studies at USC

After the USC transfer pending I-20/DS-2019 has been issued based upon the procedures indicated above, students who plan on traveling outside the US prior to the start of the first semester at USC must remember the following:

  • It is NOT necessary to visit the US embassy/consulate for a new F-1/J-1 visa unless the current F-1/J-1 student visa in the passport has expired or will expire before date of re-entry to the US
  • Re-entry to the US will require students to show the following documents at the Port of Entry:
    • Passport (valid at least 6 months into the future)
    • Valid F-1/J-1 student visa in passport
    • USC transfer pending I-20/DS-2019
    • SEVIS I-901 Fee Payment Receipt

Fall 2020 Update:

Transfer students who are already in the U.S. can remain in the country and maintain F-1 status while completing a full course load online in the Fall 2020 semester.

    •  Students must complete Passport Verification (PPV) before OIS can activate their SEVIS record. Students should not depart the U.S. before their SEVIS record has been activated.

Transfer students with an initial attendance or transfer pending I-20 who are currently outside the U.S. are not eligible to enter the U.S. and enroll in 100% online classes. USC is moving to 100% online instruction for most students.

These students have two options for the Fall 2020 semester:

    • Begin their studies from abroad as a non-F-1 student
      • New and transfer students should contact their academic department to notify them of their plans online. New I-20s with Spring 2021 start dates will be re-issued in August.
    • Contact their admissions or academic advisor to inquire about the possibility of postponing their studies to a future semester.