As an international student, you are eligible to transfer to another academic institution if you have been maintaining your student status.
Your transfer must be coordinated between the Office of International Programs (OIP) and your new school. Notre Dame must release you to the new school. Therefore it is important that you clearly decide whether you actually want to transfer prior to initiating the process. You must begin classes at the new school within 5 months of being released by Notre Dame or within 5 months of completing your program at Notre Dame or completing your period of practical training, whichever is earlier.
A student who has not been pursuing a full course of study at the school he/she was last authorized to attend is ineligible for school transfer and must apply for reinstatement or may depart the country and return in a new F-1 nonimmigrant status on the new school's I-20 marked as an initial entry.
You must report to the international student advisor at the new school within 15 days of the new program start date. Please note that if you complete your program at Notre Dame, you have only sixty days from the completion date to transfer to another school.
Students who fail to maintain their student status lose their legal student status. If you lose your student status, you may be eligible for reinstatement if:
- You have not been out of status for more than five months;
- You do not have a record of repeated or willful violations of Service regulations
- You are pursuing or intending to pursue a full course of study in the immediate future at the school that issues the I-20;
- You have not worked without permission;
- You are not deportable on any immigration-related grounds other than failure to maintain status or overstaying your period of lawful admission;
- Either of the following applies:
- The violation resulted from circumstances beyond your control (such as serious illness or injury, closure of the institution, a natural disaster, or inadvertence, oversight, or neglect on the part of the international student advisor. It does not include instances where a pattern of repeated violations or where a willful failure on your part resulted in the need for reinstatement), or
- You failed to receive advanced authorization from the international student advisor for a reduced course load, but the reduced course load was within the power of the advisor to authorize and that failure to obtain reinstatement would result in extreme hardship for you.
Reinstatement applications receive critical review by the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is strongly suggested that you maintain your status to begin with and avoid the need for reinstatement.