Transfer to UC Berkeley from Another U.S. School
After being admitted to a new school through the normal admissions process, international students must then request a transfer of their SEVIS record. Consult with International Student Advisors at both the old school and the new school to make sure the F-1 or J-1 transfer is handled properly.
An F-1 student is eligible to transfer to UC Berkeley if he/she is in valid F-1 status at the time of transfer. There can be no more than a 5-month gap between schools from the last date of attendance, OR the last day of Optional Practical Training (OPT), whichever is later. The deadline for F-1 students to request a transfer is 60 days after the program completion date or OPT end date, whichever is later.
J-1 students who wish to transfer from their current program sponsor to UCB must consult with the International Student Advisors at both schools.
To be eligible for a J-1 at UC Berkeley, the student must:
- receive a majority of their financial support from sources other than personal funds.
- have adequate financial support for all of your school and living expenses, including additional financial support for any accompanying family members, for the duration of your degree program as determined by normative time AND 51% of your total financial support comes from an institutional or government sponsor in the form of a scholarship, fellowship, assistantship, stipend, tuition waiver, or other direct support provided specifically for the educational program. Personal or family funds do not qualify. Loans or support from individuals do not qualify.
- request a J-1 transfer before his or her DS-2019 program end date.
- transfer by his/her program completion date or the end of the Academic Training period, whichever is later.
- not transfer during their 30-day grace period following completion.
- apply for a new visa with the new institution's DS-2019 if planning to travel abroad between programs. If the J-1 student remains in the U.S. between transfer institutions and does not leave the country, a new J-1 visa stamp is not required.
Steps to Transfer to UC Berkeley:
- Notify the International Student Advisor at your current school that you intend to transfer to UC Berkeley. The advisor will enter a SEVIS Release Date into your record. On this date, your SEVIS record will automatically transfer to UC Berkeley via the internet. The release date is usually the last day of enrollment at your current school.
- Complete the Non-Immigrant Information Form (NIF) and upload the required documents including passport and proof of funding. F-1 students will receive a transfer I-20 from Berkeley International Office within two weeks following their transfer release date.
- Complete your mandatory Online Arrival Confirmation.
- Pay your tuition fees and update your local address in CalCentral no later than 15 days after the first day of classes in order to complete your transfer. If you have difficulty with this process, consult an Advisor in Berkeley International Office before the 15-day deadline.
- F-1 students will be issued a second transfer I-20 and notified by email to pick it up in Berkeley International Office. This second I-20 is proof that your transfer has been completed successfully.
Fall Admit Transfer Students Taking Classes in Summer
As a student transferring your SEVIS record from another U.S. institution, your I-20 will reflect your Fall semester start date regardless of any summer classes you take. With a Fall I-20 you may take as many or as few summer units as you wish. You may want a summer I-20 start date if:
- The gap between your last date of attendance, OR the last day of Optional Practical Training (OPT) and your start date at UC Berkeley is more the 5 months.
- You will apply for off-campus work authorization during the summer
If one of these options applies to you, please review the instructions here for obtaining a summer I-20.
Traveling Between Schools
Transfer students may travel and re-enter the U.S. any time between school programs. However, transfer students must re-enter with their UC Berkeley I-20 or DS-2019 and not the previous school's document. F-1 and J-1 students must have valid visa stamps to re-enter the US. F-1 students can use a valid visa stamp issued for their pre-Berkeley institution as long as the SEVIS ID number remains the same. If the J-1 student plans to re-enter the US following the transfer, the J-1 student must apply for a new J-1 visa with the new institution's DS-2019. If the J-1 student remains in the U.S. between transfer institutions and does not leave the country, a new J-1 visa stamp is not required.
Transfer From UC Berkeley
If you are planning to leave UC Berkeley to go to another U.S. school, you must request a "transfer out" from an Advisor at Berkeley International Office. The advisor will release your SEVIS record to the new school. The date of your release depends on your program status. For more information, contact Berkeley International Office.
Also, visit our Transfer From UC Berkeley page.