Departure or Transfer Out

F-1 and J-1 students who are ending their program and departing the United States, including those going on a leave of absence, must complete a departure form for ISSS. 

Reasons Why a Student Needs to Submit a Departure Form

Reasons for which a student needs to submit a departure form include, but are not limited to:

  • The student is graduating and not doing OPT or transferring to begin a new degree program in the United States (i.e. the student is returning to his/her home country)
  • The student's academic program has ended and he/she is departing the United States (for example, exchange students finishing their study abroad experience)
  • The student is taking a leave of absence from the University, either for military service, medical reasons, or other person reasons
  • The student is choosing to end his/her OPT early and leave the U.S.  Please Note: once the departure form is submitted, the I-20 will be completed and the remaining OPT time will be forfeited.  This cannot be undone.
  • The student is requesting a SEVIS Transfer to begin a new program at a new institution within the United States (see more information below).

Grace Periods

If a student has completed his/her academic program (i.e. graduated, or completed an approved OPT or Academic Training period during which they maintained status and did not exceed allowed unemployment days), the student is allowed a grace period at the end of the F-1 or J-1 program.  For students who are graduating, this grace period follows the last date of the semester during which they graduated.  For students on OPT or Academic Training, it follows the last date of authorization on the EAD card or DS-2019.

F-1 students are allowed a grace period of 60 days, while J-1 students are allowed a grace period of 30 days.  During the grace period, students may make arrangements to depart, transfer the SEVIS record to begin a new program full-time (the student must have an acceptance letter for a program starting within 5 months), and/or F-1 students may apply for OPT (if they have not yet departed the United States).  Once a student leave the United States during the grace period, he/she cannot re-enter in the F-1 or J-1 status under UAlbany's I-20 or DS-2019.

If you are not completing a degree program (for example, if you are taking a leave of absence) the grace period does not apply.  Please see below.

Conditions Under Which Grace Periods do not Apply

If a student takes a leave of absence from the University, the I-20 or DS-2019 will be terminated for authorized early withdrawal.  The student must depart the United States within 15 days of when they stopped attending courses.  No grace period applies in this scenario.

If a student is dismissed, expelled, or violates status, the SEVIS record will be terminated and the student must depart the United States immediately.  No grace period will apply.

If a student on OPT exceeds 90 days cumulative unemployment, or 120 days cumulative unemployment between the OPT and STEM OPT periods, no grace period is given. Students must depart the United States, change status, or transfer to start a degree program prior to exceeding the allowed unemployment days in order to avoid violating status.

SEVIS Transfer Request

A SEVIS Transfer is a separate process from an academic transfer. By submitting this request, you are asking the ISSS office to transfer your SEVIS record to a new institution. Refer to the transfer-out Checklist below for other actions you may need to take.

You may choose only one ‘transfer school’; therefore, wait until you have been accepted to the new institution and have decided to attend that school before requesting a SEVIS transfer. If you decide to cancel your transfer, change the release date, or transfer to a different institution, you must notify the ISSS before your SEVIS release date. Once the transfer release date has been reached UAlbany will no longer have access to your SEVIS record.

You may transfer your F-1 status at the end of your current semester of enrollment, upon completion of studies, or during/after finishing OPT. You may transfer before or within your 60-day grace period. If you are transferring while on Optional Practical Training, your Optional Practical Training work authorization will automatically end on the SEVIS release date.

To be eligible for a transfer, you must be maintaining  F-1 status. You must begin studying at your new institution within five months of completion of study at UAlbany or the last date of your OPT employment, whichever comes first.

After your SEVIS release date, your University at Albany I-20 is no longer valid. Your new school will create a new I-20 for you.

Transfer-Out Checklist

  • Order transcripts if you need them.
  • Undergraduate students who are not graduating from their program must withdraw from the University; please review Undergraduate Education's site on Withdrawals and Readmission. Graduate students should speak with their academic department and review the Graduate School's Withdrawals, Leaves of Absence and Readmission site.
  • Be sure to drop/withdraw from your classes for the upcoming term before the financial liability deadline, otherwise you may be charged.
  • Let Residence Life or your landlord know that you are leaving and will not be returning.
  • Check your student account balance to ensure that nothing is owed. Accounts with outstanding balances will be sent to a collection agency.
  • Keep all of your University at Albany I-20s for your records.

Departure or Transfer Out EForm

Now that you have reviewed and understand all of the above information, you may submit a Departure or Transfer Out Eform:

  1. Click here to navigate to the AccessISSS online system. Login with your UAlbany NetID (ex: AA123456) and password.
  2. Watch this recording to help you navigate to the EForm menu.
  3. Select the "Departure or Transfer Out EForm" from the EForm menu.
  4. This EForm will ask you to upload supporting documents. If you need assistance, please review the File Upload Instructions webpage.
  5. All updates related to your EForm will be communicated over email. Please allow up to 5-7 business days for processing.


The information contained in this web site/form is provided as a service to international students, faculty and staff at the University at Albany. It does not constitute legal advice. We try to provide useful information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site or any associated site or form. Neither the University at Albany nor ISSS is responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this website, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. Nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel; students may wish to consult an immigration attorney on the specifics of their case as needed.