Transfer Students

International transfer students are international students currently studying at another U.S. institution in valid F-1/J-1 status, who will be transferring to USC. In order to complete the immigration transfer process to USC, it is imperative that the student meets the requirements below to maintain legal status in the U.S.  

F-1 Students:

  • Student’s current institution must release the SEVIS record to USC
  • This will enable USC’s Graduate Admissions (GA) office to issue a USC “transfer pending” I-20
  • Please make sure that the transfer I-20 issued by USC indicates the notation “transfer pending from (name of previous institution)" in line #3 of page 1
  • Questions regarding the USC transfer I-20 must be directed to GA at

J-1 Students:

  • J-1 students who have been granted a "D/S" (duration of status) at the Port of Entry must take the DS-2019 to the J-1 Responsible Officer at their current school
  • Student’s current J-1 sponsor must release the SEVIS records to USC so a new USC DS-2019 can be issued from the GA office
  • Questions regarding the USC transfer DS-2019 must be directed to GA at

Traveling Abroad and Re-entering Prior to Beginning Studies at USC

After the USC transfer pending I-20/DS-2019 has been issued based upon the procedures indicated above, students who plan on traveling outside the U.S. prior to the start of the first semester at USC must remember the following: 

  • It is NOT necessary to visit the U.S. consulate/embassy for a new F-1 visa unless the current F-1/J-1 student visa in the passport has expired or will expire before date of re-entry to the U.S. 
  • Re-entry to the U.S. will require students to show the following documents at the Port of Entry:
    • Passport (valid at least 6 months into the future)
    • Valid F-1/J-1 student visa in passport
    • USC transfer pending I-20/DS-2019

Passport Verification

All F-1 and J-1 transfer students must complete Passport Verification (PPV) with OIS. Students can sign up for a PPV session online or complete PPV during the International Student Orientation for graduate students and also during Transfer Orientation for undergraduate transfer students. To learn more about PPV and sign up for a PPV session, please visit the PPV online registration page.