STEP 1: If you are currently in valid F-1/J-1 status, you will need to complete the New Student Information Form which will be sent to you by an advisor in the Center for Global Programs & Studies once your admissions office alerts of your enrollment. You are required to fill this form out. Failure to fill it out will result in delays in I-20 processing. Once the form is submitted, you will receive an automatic confirmation email. Please also check your junk/spam boxes in your email. The confirmation email will include details that you should provide to your Designated School Official/Alternate Responsible Officer so that they may transfer your SEVIS record to WFU.
*Note* This procedure also applies to those F-1/J-1 students who are currently pursuing a period of optional practical training or academic training.
Nonimmigrants who are no longer in valid F-1/J-1 status will need to apply for a reinstatement from the USCIS. The GPS can assist you with this process.
STEP 2: Once the transfer release date on your SEVIS record has been reached, the GPS will process a new I-20 form or DS2019 form for you.
IMPORTANT: Please be advised that any employment authorization from the transfer-out institution (OPT, CPT, on-campus employment, etc.) will effectively end on the transfer release date. You should keep this in mind when deciding this date.
STEP 3: If you will be making a departure from the U.S. before beginning your program at WFU, your I-20/DS2019 will be processed once your SEVIS record is released to us and will be mailed to your current place of residence. If you will depart the U.S. prior to the date WFU receives your SEVIS record, please indicate an address outside of the U.S. where you may receive the package and it will be mailed there via FedEx. If your record is released to WFU prior to your departure date, the package will be mailed to your U.S. address on file.
If you will be departing the U.S. before coming to Wake Forest, you will use two copies of Form I-20 or DS2019 (one issued from your current institution and the other from Wake Forest) to enter the country.
Please be mindful of the fact that you will still need a valid F-1/J-1 visa sticker in your passport in order to make a reentry. The name of the institution listed on the visa stamp has no immediate bearing on your immigration status. I ask that you please make sure that you have a valid Machine Readable Visa (MRV) stamp in your passport before attempting an entry to the U.S. If the visa stamp that you currently hold has or will expire before you return to the U.S., you will need to obtain a new visa at an American Embassy/Consulate while abroad. You will not be required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again but you will need the new I20/DS2019 from Wake Forest in order to apply to renew your visa stamp. Please be advised that the visa stamp cannot be re-validated within the borders of the U.S. and it is always best to renew the visa stamp in your home country.
STEP 4: If you will not be making a departure from the U.S. prior to starting your program, you will have two options:
Option 1: If your record is transferred to WFU before you move from your current U.S. address, your I-20/DS2019 form will be sent to your local U.S. address. Please be aware that receipt of your I-20/DS2019 form does not indicate activation of your SEVIS record. You are still required to check-in with the Center for Global Programs & Studies upon arrival at WFU.
Option 2: If your record is transferred to WFU after you move from your current U.S. address, your I-20/DS2019 form will be available for pick-up at the WFU Center for Global Programs & Studies upon arrival in Winston-Salem, NC.
STEP 5: All new international students and scholars at Wake Forest University are required to register with the Center for Global Programs & Studies immediately upon arriving on campus. A failure to register within 30 days of entering the U.S. will result in an immediate cancellation of your F-1 or J-1 visa status in the SEVIS system.
Transfer During Grace Periods
- Students in valid F-1 status are allowed to transfer schools during the 60-day grace period after they have completed their program of studies
- The same applies to J-1 students/scholars for the designated 30-day grace period.
The start date for a student in valid F-1/J-1 status must be within five months of the release date set by the transfer-out school, or within five months of the program completion date in SEVIS, whichever date is earlier.