I am visiting states on F1 for a short term course of four weeks. My F1 is valid only for 4 weeks for the duration of the course. After the completion of my course, am thinking to join a Masters course which starts after one month.

Will transferring SEVIS record to the new school be sufficient or do I need to go back to my country and apply for a new F1? I spoke to two schools regarding this, one said I need to get a new visa stating that my F1 is short and specific, and other said I can transfer the SEVIS record without any problem. Am confused

  • 1
    the school said they spoke to someone in sevis office -- this is quite vague. Afaik, there's no actual rule that says anything about "short and specific". To be polite and persistent, you could describe to them the actual rules you have found so far, and ask them what rule they are citing.
    – krubo
    Apr 26, 2019 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


The law is that you can transfer between F-1 programs as long as the gap between programs is less than 5 months. The spirit of the law is that you shouldn't abuse that process by, for example, attending a 4 week program and then remaining in the US while transferring to a program that starts 4 months later.

In your case, you are legally eligible to transfer. The gap between your programs is less than 5 months, and you do not appear to be misleading anyone or abusing the process.

However, performing the transfer requires the cooperation of both schools. While the law is clear that the old school cannot refuse to transfer your F-1 record out, it is less clear whether the new school has any obligation to accept the transfer in. Probably the new school will accept the transfer if you are polite and persistent about it, but it's also possible they could continue to insist that you must get a new visa.

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