Question – Can I change university after F1 visa stamping  in the passport?

I have an F1 visa to 1 university and now I got admit from a better university with aid. Can I change my visa now.  If I need to attend the interview again, and If I am rejected for the new  university, will my 1st visa remains or there are any chances that they can reject my 1st visa as well?.

After US F1 Visa Interview

Congrats on getting US F1 Visa. Many students appear for US visa interview, before receiving admission decision from other Universities. But, very few decide to transfer university after spending one semester in a university due to the hassles involved.

But, in reality process of  changing to new university after F1 stamping  is pretty simple.

Change university after f1 visa stamping

You have three options to attend a different university after F1 Visa stamping

  1. Appear for F1 Visa Interview again
  2. University Transfer after arriving in USA (not before that)
  3. Transfer after completing atleast one semester

F1 Visa Interview

You will have to go through the same US visa interview process.  Most likely you should get visa, but that’t the risk you have to take.

Consider this only if advantages are more compared to attending the university where you have  F1 Visa Stamping.  At any given time you will be allowed to have single visa stamping.

Defer Admission

If you got US F1 Visa stamping for university X and got admission from University Y, you can defer your admission from University Y to next semester (or upto one year). If you got visa stamping for Spring, you can defer the admission to Summer or Fall semester.

Process of university transfer is simple. University Y will issue new-I-20 and use that to apply for Transfer. It would take less than 2 days for the whole process. [ How to get University Transfer After first semester]


Which option will be the best and why? Go with option 2.

You can change university after visa stamping and before attending classes. Above said one semester rule can be dis-regarded. Yes, you can get university transfer following visa stamping.

Here is the actual procedure to transfer university after arriving in USA.

  • Mayuri

    Sorry the prior post wasnt complete. Since the new school starts after a month, I am on my way to India.

  • Mayuri

    I was in one school in US, attended it for two semesters, but i did not perform well, so i had to leave that school. I got admission in other school, they will send my I-20 to India. I wasn’t told anything about visa. Will there be any problem? Do I have to restamp my visa?
    Please tell me.

  • raj

    I’m in X univ from fall-2012. I also have the admission from Y univ for fall 2012. I am done with 1st semester. But I got gpa below 3 and I don’t want to go home. Instead if I take transfer to Y univ for Spring-2013 or fall-2013. will I have to appear for visa again?

  • manohar

    ‘ve 1 query
    can i defer my admisiion to spring after visa approval?
    do i need to appear for vi again?
    igot reject on 11th june after 221g
    now i’ve vi on 27th.
    but i’d lik to attend for spring
    pls help

  • rakesh

    hi, i have applied for summer with findlay university and paid the sevis fee, my question would be do i need to pay again the sevis fee if iam goin to defer the admission from summer to fall? or can i use the old sevis fee reciept please advise

  • aziz

    hello..i got i20 of bridgeport..and i will be appearing for that university for visa..if i want to change the university after going there and without attending 1st semester it possible?

  • priyanka

    hi…hsb..please help me how to identify the unaccredited universities(like Tri-valley).
    thanks for wonderful info…hope you will help me

  • Fiz

    I got my F1 from University X at houston location… I can get a transfer to the other campus at Newyork from the same University X

  • fay

    Wow! this is a great forum. My own situation with the f1 transferring is a little complicated. I have an hold on my account due to the money that i owe the school. I have spend one full year in a 4 year university. I can not transfer my credit to another school due to the hold for owing the school. Can i still transfer to another University or 2 year college. Will the college that i owe release me to the other College. It is easier for me to pay for the school that im transffering to, since i will be living with a relative in another state. My family is in a financial bind right now. Please, i need a honest and quick answer. thanks all.

  • mina isac

    1)I have admitted to a university and got accepted for the fall semester 2011 and i got F1 visa but due to the routine in my country i can’t join this semester .. when i defer to spring semester .. Must i apply for another interview for visa ??

    2) If i traveled to USA , but not on time so i can’t reach the fall semester and i contact the university to apply for the spring what will be my status in this case when i was already in USA without attending a full time education ? when i decide to return home it will a problem that i didn’t attend the school , so can I stays until the spring begin ?? or what can i do

    i wish to get an answer soooon

  • vishal

    I think this is the best site for students trying for education abroad. I am using this site to get information for a long time, but this is the first time I am commenting.

    Thanks a lot…you are doing a very good job..

    • HSB

      Thanks vishal.

  • Ajay Reddy

    Am an international student. I have applied to 2 universities, if i get admission in one university after stamping and goin to U.S can i have an option of changing to another university even though i did not apply to it. Can i have an opportunity to to get admission into that university by applying after reaching over there?

  • M.H. Raj

    I am an international student and ve got admission with aid for Ph.D in a university in a small city(dept is ranked 8th). Tho I ve offer letters and I 20 from universities ranked 2 &3; these universities haven't given me aid. So I ve got a visa stamped based on the uni with aid and am starting in the smaller uni.

    I wd like to transfer after a year to the better unis; but I will need aid. What are my chances? can I transfer only for my thesis part? What shd I do to get aid in 2nd yr in the better unis? Will the transfer from the parent uni affect my reference?

  • Ankur


    I have obtained F1 visa against the I20 of Univ. of Bridgeport but now I got an I20 from Univ. of Texas @ El Paso. What will be best way to get a change of university to re-apply for the visa. Or can i get the univ changed even before attending classes at Univ of Bridgeport. I have not registered yet in University of Bridgeport.

    Please suggest and help.


    Hi Everyone,

    I got F1 visa stamped for SJSU university for Fall 2010. And i am unable to attend this university this year due to family emergency problems.Can i apply to different universities for next fall 2011. I mean will there be any problem in Visa interview

    • HSB

      You would have to go for visa interview again if you change university.

      • Vamsi

        Can you please let us know what is the procedure to be followed. If I apply like a fresher again do i need to pay my sevis fees again? OR can i pay savis fees twice? If they reject to give visa for the second university, will I have the previous VISA?

  • coolsome

    Hello everyone,

    Even i want to transfer my school once i enter US without attending semester in present approved univ. And seems like process is simple. But is that legal to transfer without attending a single semester in present school and will there be out of status threats of visa?

  • rahul

    I got an admission from university of houston clear my visa.will you please tell me howz the university uhcl is?r jobs available over there after MS in CS?

  • john

    i have an idea why don't you assholes stay in your own fucking country and stop populating our universities with your bullshit… u steal our jobs, our education, and u look like shit

    • Arnab

      @john:-U knw what?U need to change ur parochial mindset and let some air flow through it though I doubt there is hardly anything in there but air otherwise you wouldn't have made such a abashing comment.secondly,look around u,there will be more Asian doctors and engineers than u can imagine and without them ur country would have been paralyzed.and lastly if u can't keep ur jobs because of better competition then I guess u people need to look at the education and knowledge that u people have,because frankly we are better that's why we get jobs and people like you disgrace your country.U are such a disgrace ur country…trust me on this

  • zubi

    Hello everyone,
    Is it possible to get F1 visa after one visa denial on the basis of 214b.

  • sanjida


    i got I20 from florida community college & from university of central missouri,& i had visa interview today & got rejected for choosing a community college!!!

    so what should i do now?i already transfered my sevis payment to UCM & reapplying for another visa interview in next week with the UCM's I20,but my problem is i want to go to florida & study there beacuse i have relatives over there,so if i get visa with UCM's I20 then after arriving there can i just go to florida & get addmitted to any other college/university? please someone reply to my problem!!!

    • Sana Sandeep

      Hi Sanjida,
      I understand your problem. If you got visa for UCM then you cann’t go to Florida as the airport authorities will block you in florida without valid visa. Its possible that you can reapply for visa for same Florida University…

  • Sana Sandeep


    I have received I20 from University of Southern Califonia. I want to book visa date for this university. I am also waiting for admission status of Texas A&M which is currently pending. PI want to know that if I book the date for USC, can i change my university before attending the Visa Interview? Also I want to know, should I need to wait for Texas A&M, Collage Station ?

    • HSB

      Wait for Texas A&M, which is much better than USC.

      • Sana Sandeep

        Well, Then the visa slots are filling fast. Also the Texas A&M has not give any hints about my admission. And I don't want to waste 1 more semester. How long can I wait this university? Do you have any idea about deadline of admission of this university?

  • Nikhil Nomula

    In addition to the two options mentioned above you even have an option of coming to the university on which your Visa is stamped, got to the international students office, fill out a transfer form and transfer out immediately. The process is very simple and you dont have to wait for one semester and neither another Visa interview. The same thing happenned with me and I transferred out of the university in just two days.

    Instead you can also go to the university Y, which is the university which you want to transfer to and send a fax to University X, on which you got VISA regarding the transfer, they are definitely going to accept it and your SEVIS will be transferred. Dont worry, transfering of university is as simple as filling out an application form. Thats it!!

    • HSB

      Very few universities will allow to transfer without completing first semester. It would be good, if you list which schools you got transfer from.

      • gullu


        Is that possible to transfer from the uni before attending it . If yes then how many good universities will allow this . Please name them ?

    • HSB

      I take that back. Looks like universities will allow to transfer universities after you entered U.S. and before attending classes in first semester. So, post will be updated, once we get more details info.

      From UTEP – You may choose to transfer out of UTEP to attend another DHS-approved (“Department of Homeland Security “- approved) university. You can transfer in the middle of a program or you can transfer after completing one program and before starting another one. (It is also possible to transfer even if you haven’t attended UTEP; however, you must have entered the United States with UTEP’s I-20 and you must report to OIP).

      • member

        Hi Everyone..

        I applied for change of status from H4 to F1 visa using I20 from university 'A' and my F1 visa got approved 2 days ago.

        The classes in University 'A' starts soon and i have not registered yet. But now, i want to change from university 'A' to university 'B' due to some reasons….can i change my univeristy at this point? Or do i have to study for some time in university 'A' before moving to Unoveristy 'B'? I got I20 from university 'B' as well……..but i used I20 from university 'A' to get my F1 visa and i have not yet registered in univerity 'A'…….Please suggest..

        I really appreciate your help…

        Thank you so much…

        • zubi

          I have the same problem which you have.
          I am going for second interview on next week,I was was denied first time on the basis of the 214b act.I got I20 from one community college & from another university,as community college is cheaper so applied for that and they did not give me visa,so i am applying again with the university's I20,& hoping & praying to god that i get the visa.
          Please update you problem & solution.because i want to know your problem's solution as I will be facing this kind of problem in future.

          • Nick

            Hi Zubi,
            I have a same problem. I am in community college & have a valid I20. I want to go for stamping, will you recommend me to goto mexico on community college I20?…
            And if you visa was denied so did you got back to US?..
            What is a waiver program ?..

            please help…

        • desai


          Can you tell me what is the way out for the situation..because probably even i would get to same situation.

          Thank you so much

        • HSB

          Viru – I have updated the post. You can transfer university right after visa stamping, but after entering USA.

    • mahavir


      nikhil nomula said correct thing regarding transfer of university.and HSB is also very much right. it depend on you which procedure do you want to follow. it is always better that you go to university which you want attend and send a fax. your transfer will done with in no time . it is very simple process. don't get panic. it is common practice which many students do. even my daughter got transfer from gannon univ. to lamar univ with out any problem.

    • Haris

      Post your answer as the third option if its 100% accurate