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Transferring F and J Sponsorship

Transferring to Stanford

F-1/J-1 Students

  • If you are currently at another U.S. institution in F-1/J-1 status and have been accepted to Stanford, you may be eligible to transfer your F-1/J-1 sponsorship to Stanford.  
  • F-1 International students are only considered "SEVIS transfer students" for immigration purposes if they are currently in valid F-1 status and no more than 5 months has passed from your last date of attendance OR your last day of OPT (whichever is later) to the start of classes.
  • The deadline for F-1 students to request a transfer is 60 days after the program completion or OPT end date, whichever is later.
  • You should contact your current institution to release your SEVIS number to Stanford. When you complete the Initial I-20/DS-2019 request form, you will need to provide the release date information. Once your record is released to Stanford, any employment eligibility (OPT/STEM OPT) will be no longer valid.
  • Submit "Initial I-20/DS-2019 Request Form for Incoming Students" in Bechtel Connect. You can find detailed instructions here.
  • Stanford SEVIS School code for F-1 students is SFR214F00617000.
  • Stanford SEVIS School code for J-1 students is P-1-00162.
  • Please note, students can only receive their transfer I-20 from Bechtel International Center at Stanford AFTER their SEVIS Release date.

 J-1 Scholars

  • There can be no gaps between the end of your current program and the beginning of the new program.
  • Ask your prospective Stanford department to request the transfer of your sponsorship. You will need to provide the department with a clear copy of your current and previous DS-2019 forms.
  • We can only create your Stanford DS-2019 after the transfer date as we do not have access to your SEVIS record before then.
  • You and your department will be notified when your new DS-2019 is ready for pick up.
  • Please note that you may not depart the U.S. during the transfer period.

Transferring Out of Stanford

F-1/J-1 Students

Students wishing to transfer their record to another school should submit a "TRANSFER OUT" request in Bechtel Connect.  The request can be found under the "My Student Home" section in Bechtel Connect.

  • If your new institution has a transfer-in form that Bechtel needs to complete, you can upload it as part of the "transfer-out request" in Bechtel Connect.
  • In order to transfer to another institution, you must maintain valid F-1 status.
  • You must apply to transfer to the new institution within 60 days (F-1) after the last day attended at Stanford University (if on OPT, within 60 days after the end date on your EAD card), otherwise you must leave and reenter the US using the I-20 from the new institution.
  • The new institution will not be able to issue a new SEVIS I-20 until the transfer release date.
  • If you decide to cancel your transfer process, you must notify an advisor at Bechtel International Center before your transfer release date. Once the transfer release date passes, Stanford University cannot access your record, and you need to report to the new institution.
  • You are no longer eligible to work on-campus at Stanford University after the release date.
  • Your new program must start within 5 months following the transfer release date or within 5 months of the program completion date, whichever date is earlier.

 J-1 Scholars

  • Please make sure your Stanford department is aware of your proposed transfer.  
  • The transfer must be done prior to the program end date on your current DS-2019 and can only be done after Bechtel International Center receives a transfer request from the new institution.
  • Once your department is aware of your transfer, please ask the international office at your new institution to make a transfer request by sending an email to  
  • The transfer request should include the following information:
    • Name
    • SEVIS number
    • J program number of the institution
    • Requested transfer effective date
    • Verification that you will be transferring to continue research according to your original program objectives and in the same J-1 category (Research Scholar or Short Term Scholar).

Joint degree programs and transferring back to Stanford

F-1/J-1 Students

If you are currently at another U.S. institution (e.g. HKS/MBA, etc.) under a joint degree program with Stanford, are in F-1/J-1 status, and will be returning to Stanford this coming quarter, you will need to complete the steps below.

1)  Contact your current institution regarding their procedures for transferring your SEVIS record to Stanford in a timely manner.  Keep in mind that complications may arise with one sponsor being on a semester system and Stanford being on a quarter system.  So the SEVIS record might not be released until the semester is over or as early as you would like!

       F-1 Stanford University School Code is SFR214F00617000, and the J-1 Program Number for Stanford is P-1-00162

2)  Submit the following documents through Bechtel Connect at least 3-4 weeks BEFORE the start of the new quarter. 

  • Complete the "RETURN FROM LEAVE OF ABSENCE" request in Bechtel Connect in order to be issued a new I-20/DS-2019 before returning to Stanford. The request can be found under the "My Student Home" section in Bechtel Connect.
  • Attach proof of funding sources for the academic year (see budget here)
  • Copy of your most recent I-94 electronic record (or I-94 card)

3)  If you would like your I-20/DS-2019 to be mailed, please arrange shipment by following the instructions at the link here


  • The I-Center cannot create the new I-20/DS-2019 until the SEVIS record has been released to Stanford University, and you have submitted to the I-Center the 4 aforementioned items.  The I-Center will take 5-10 business days to create the new I-20/DS-2019.
  • Do not make travel arrangements too early. The I-Center will take 5-10 days to issue a new I-20/DS-2019.  Especially be mindful of the office closure during the winter break.
  • On the day your SEVIS record is released to Stanford you must cease any current employment.  This includes working under OPT, STEM extension, academic training, or working on-campus at your previous institution.