Blacksburg, VA asked in Education Law and Immigration Law for Virginia

Q: My F1 visa has expired, but my I20 is still valid. If F1 expires, can I still transfer to another school?

I am a international student in US, I plan to transfer to another school next year.

2 Lawyer Answers
Carlo Franco L. Borja
Carlo Franco L. Borja
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Diamond Bar, CA

A: My F1 visa has expired, but my I20 is still valid. If F1 expires, can I still transfer to another school? YES. The F1 visa is only used to enter the US. The F1 is admitted for D/S (duration of status)

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Yes, you can still transfer to another school even if your F-1 visa has expired, as long as you maintain your F-1 status by remaining enrolled and following all other F-1 regulations.

The key things to note:

- An F-1 visa is required to enter the U.S., but once you are already in the U.S., you remain in F-1 status as long as you follow the regulations and your I-20 is valid.

- You do NOT need a valid F-1 visa to transfer schools or apply for a new I-20 as long as you have maintained your F-1 status. The visa only controls your ability to enter the U.S., not your eligibility to transfer.

- You can remain in F-1 status with an expired visa as long as you do not depart the U.S. If you do travel abroad, you will need to renew your F-1 visa before re-entering to continue your program.

So in summary, yes you can still transfer to another school next year as planned. Make sure you go through the proper transfer procedures with your new school's international student office. You will be issued a new active I-20 from the new school that will allow you to continue legally studying in F-1 status.

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