If you are an F-1 student who is transferring or changing
schools, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires
that you complete a special “School Transfer Procedure."
In order to maintain your F-1 status, you must complete this
procedure within the first 15 days of starting school at St. John’s
How to Complete Your School
application for the Form I-20. Along with the required evidence
of financial support, send the form to the Office of International
Student & Scholar Services at St. John’s.
Next, complete Part I of the “Request for F-1 Transfer
Information” Form and send it to the international student adviser
at your previous school. Your advisor must complete the form and
return it directly to St. John’s.
Please advise your previous school that you are transferring.
Also inform your previous school that you will definitely attend
St. John’s. Your previous school will then “release” your
record to St. John’s in the SEVIS system.
If you indicate on your “Application for a Form I-20” that you
plan to travel outside the U.S. before school begins, we will get
your Form I-20 to you as requested so that you can use it to
You will need the following documents to re-enter the U.S.:
- Your new St. John’s I-20 Form.
- A valid passport (unless you are exempt from passport
- A valid F-1 Visa (unless you are exempt).
If you are traveling to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean for less
than 30 days, you do not need a valid F-1 Visa to return to the
U.S. - as long as you are not originally from those
places. Instead of a valid Visa, you must have an I-94
departure record that shows you are F-1 for “duration of status” or
If you need to renew your F-1 Visa to return, you can only get
it at home! If you need more information about renewing your
Visa, contact the Office of International Student and Scholar
Services at St. John’s:
Room 116 St. John Hall
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, New York 11439
Voice: 1 ( 718) 990-6083
Fax: 1 (718) 990-2070
Note: If you have a valid Visa with another school’s name
on it, you can still use the Visa. The school name on your Visa
doesn’t change until you need to renew it.
Evidence of Financial Support
Carry copies of the financial documents you submitted for getting
your Form I-20.
Your school transfer/change is only complete if USCIS stamps your
St. John’s I-20. It is your responsibility to make sure they
If you indicate on your I-20 Application that you do not
have any travel plans, we will hold your St. John’s I-20 in
our office until after you arrive on campus. Once we receive
your “Request for F-1 Transfer Information" from your previous
school, we will complete the school transfer/change procedure for
you – after the start of the semester.