Transfer to Another School

Many students enter ELI programs in order to improve their English skills so that they can prepare for studies in another institution. If you are nearly ready to leave the ELI, then we wish you a hearty Congratulations!

Now it is time to prepare for your transfer. This page contains all of the information that you need to know, including:

Documents needed to transfer

In order to transfer to a new school, you must prepare the following documents:

  • Proof that you have been accepted into a new school (i.e., an acceptance letter).
  • A transfer form for the new school (if they have one).
  • SACM students: If you are sponsored by SACM, you must also prepare an Official Financial Guarantee Letter for the new school. SACM requires us to see this letter in order to prove that your transfer has been accepted by SACM.

Transfer Process

During your final weeks at ELI:

  1. Complete the ELI Departure Form.
    • During your final weeks at the ELI, you will receive an ELI Departure Form in your Listening/Speaking class (this form is normally ready in Week 6).
    • Complete this form and be sure that all information on it is correct.
    • On the form, you must write the name of the school to which you want to transfer.
    • Submit the Departure Form to the ELI.
    • You will not be transferred if we have not received your departure form.
  2. Complete the online transfer request form.
    • The ELI Transfer Out form is available from the ELI Tab on the ISSS Forms page.
    • Complete this form anytime during the last half of the ELI session.
    • You may also complete this form after ELI graduation, but remember: F-1 students must complete their entire transfer process within 60 days (and J-1 students must complete it within 30 days). “Completing the entire transfer process” means that the transfer of your SEVIS record from the University of Delaware to your new school must be finished. This is a process that can take several weeks to complete).
  3. Check your financial record.
    • Check with the ELI Financial Office ( to make sure that you have paid all monies owed to the university.
  4. Inform your Housing Coordinator that you plan to leave ELI.
  5. Check your library record.
    • Check your apartment to make sure that you have returned all materials to the University of Delaware library (and paid any fines that you may owe to them).
  6. Attend ELI Graduation – it is a great celebration!

After graduation, ISSS will…

  1. Complete your transfer form and send it to the new school; and
  2. Electronically transfer your SEVIS record to the new institution.

Note: After this step has been completed, your transfer is no longer under the control of the University of Delaware (ISSS or ELI); this is because we will no longer have control of your SEVIS record. If you have questions about your transfer at this point, you should contact the new school.

Special information to know:

  • You can submit these documents during the last half of the session. If you have already graduated, then you should submit your transfer documentation within 45 days of graduation (if you have an F-1 visa) or within 15 days (if you have a J-1 visa).
  • You do not need an appointment with Vina or with ELI staff in order to transfer to another school unless we contact you by telephone or email and request to meet with you.
  • Submitting your electronic transfer form is considered your final indication of your transfer decision. This means that, when you submit the form, ISSS will understand that you definitely want to transfer to the school indicated on your transfer form. The decision will be final.

How long does it take to transfer?

Normally, it takes approximately 2-4 weeks for a transfer process to be completed. This is because several offices work with your file at both universities:

  • ISSS will need 1-2 weeks to do its work for your transfer;
  • The new school will need time to do its work to complete your transfer and to give you an I-20 form.

Staff members in all departments work very hard to process transfers as fast as possible. At most times of the year, the entire transfer process will only take 2 weeks to complete; however, sometimes we need a bit more time to finish the work. We appreciate your patience.

Points to remember:

  • The university has up to 60 days to transfer you (don’t worry–it does not usually take that long).
  • You may leave Delaware immediately after graduation. You do not have to wait for the university to complete your transfer process.

Two or three weeks after graduation, contact your new school and ask them if your transfer has been completed (so that they can make a new I-20 form for you).

What happens if I was dismissed or on probation?

If you are on probation during your final session at the ELI, then you must meet the terms of the probation (check your probation letter for more information).

If you do not meet the terms of your probation, then you will be dismissed from the ELI.

If you are dismissed from the ELI:

  • You must provide ISSS with proof that you have been accepted to another program;
  • You must give the acceptance documentation to ISSS by no later than 21 days after the date of your dismissal or before the Friday of the first week of the session that immediately follows your last session at the ELI – whichever comes first.

If you provide us with the acceptance letter in this time frame, then we will transfer you by following the procedure described above.

If you do not provide us with the acceptance letter in this time frame, then your SEVIS record will be terminated (i.e., your I-20 record will be canceled).

  • If we terminate your SEVIS record, then you will either have to leave the USA immediately or you will have to go through a reinstatement process at the new school.
  • Reinstatement is a process in which you ask the government to give you back your visa status in good standing.

Note: many schools do NOT reinstate students. This means that an ELI dismissal may also result in the cancellation of your admission to the new school. If your college will not reinstate you, then you must leave the USA immediately.

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