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NOTE: if you completed a program of study in F-1 or J-1 status, you may be eligible to have your existing SEVIS record transferred.
F-1 students are eligible to transfer your existing SEVIS record up to 60 days after program completion (unless you applied for Optional Practical Training).
J-1 students are eligible to transfer your existing SEVIS record up to 30 days after program completion.
If your record in SEVIS reads as Active and is eligible for transfer, please select “In the U.S.” to receive the transfer instructions. Please confer with the Designated School Official (DSO) in the international office at your current school to ensure your record is eligible for transfer.
A DS-2019 form to obtain a J-1 visa will be produced only for those students whose programs are being primarily funded by a government organization or external institution and that organization requires the use of a J-1 visa. Please notate in the final comments section of this form whether your financial sponsor requires the use of the J-1 visa for your studies.
Ex: +1-336-758-5938 (sample U.S. phone number)
Prospective students in all other categories may need to change their status to F-1 in order to be enrolled.
Categories that MUST change their status to the F-1 full-time student status: F-2
Categories that MAY need to change their status to the F-1 full-time student status: J-1, H-1B, L-1, E-1
Categories that do not need to change immediately, but may need to in the future: J-2, H-4, L-2, E-2, O-2, A-2, etc.
The status of a dependent is directly tied with the principle visa holder (J-1, H-1B, L-1, E-1, O-1, A-1, etc.). If the principle visa holder loses their status, the dependent automatically also loses their status. Please consult with the principle visa holder of your family and/or your immigration attorney to determine if and when you need to change status to the F-1 student status. Children dependents may remain on the derivative dependent status until the age of 21. Representatives in the ISSS can help provide options and can produce an I-20 form for a change of status if necessary.
A note for anyone who has held or currently holds J-1 or J-2 status and is subject to the 212(e) 2 year home residence requirement that has not been fulfilled or waived by the Department of State & US Citizenship & Immigration Services: you are NOT eligible to apply for a change of status in the U.S. You MUST travel outside of the U.S. and apply for an F-1 visa stamp at an embassy/consulate.
The I-539 is a personal application form and, therefore, has no direct connection, legal or otherwise, to Wake Forest University.
Any issues that arise as a result of a request for a “Change of Nonimmigrant Status” are personal issues that are to be handled between the·individual and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. If assistance with the application process is required, please seek legal counsel.
Once the form is submitted, you will receive an automatic confirmation email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Please add that email address to your list of approved contacts to ensure receipt of this email. Please also check your junk/spam boxes in your email.
ACTION REQUIRED: The confirmation email will include details that you should provide to your Designated School Official so that they may transfer your SEVIS record to WFU.
*Note* This 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 ISSS can assist you with this process.
Please be aware that receipt of your I-20/DS-2019 form does not indicate activation of your SEVIS record. You are still required to check-in with ISSS 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/DS-2019 form will be available for pick-up at the WFU Center for Global Programs & Studies (Reynolda 116) upon arrival in Winston-Salem, NC.
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/DS-2019 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.
Remember 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. 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/DS-2019 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/DS-2019 form will be sent to your local U.S. address. Please be aware that receipt of your I-20/DS-2019 form does not indicate activation of your SEVIS record. You are still required to check-in with ISSS 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/DS-2019 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 ISSS 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 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.
Immediate family members are defined as:
Children under the age of 21
Dependents should use the F-2 or J-2 status if their stay is anticipated to last 6 months or longer. Proof of additional support funds in the amount of $1000.00/dependent per month will need to be demonstrated before the appropriate I-20 form or DS2019 form will be produced.
The F-2 and J-2 is not necessary if your family members are simply visiting for a period of 6 months or less. Rather, they can use a B-2 tourist visa for short trips to visit.
Dependent 6 Copy of Passport Data Page
Dependent 6 Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
Dependent 6 Email
Dependent 6 City of Birth
Dependent 6 Country of Birth
Dependent 6 Country of Citizenship
Dependent 6 Country of Permanent Residence
Dependent 6 Relationship to you (Spouse or Child)
You will do this for each additional dependent.
Please be sure to add that email address to your list of approved contacts to ensure receipt of this email.