Got a better admit after booking the visa date? Here’s what you can do.

After months of preparation, hard work, consulting mentors and contemplating for days together, you finally zero in on the best admit in your hand and book the visa interview. You inform your friends and relatives that you are going to X university and are in the last phase of negotiations for your apartment. You certainly feel apprehensive, yet you are uber-confident that you will breeze through the visa interview. After all, you have done everything right.

You wake up the next day to an email from another University (your dream University actually!) that you have been accepted.  While this is one of the most euphoric moments of your life, it can easily turn into apprehension filled days. What was just a waiting period could metamorphose into frenzied days of doing a lot of things all over again. Right from sending financial documents to the University and following up with them for the I20, to submitting the DS -160 and visa application, every step in the visa process needs to be reworked.

In order to ease your life, we decided to write this article so that we can systematically detail the process of changing your University after visa appointment booking. We have identified various scenarios so that you can take appropriate steps based on your situation.

Scenario 1 – You have paid the SEVIS and submitted the DS-160, but not yet made the Visa payment.

Step 1: Transfer SEVIS from University X to University Y.   The following is the procedure for the same:

I-901 Fee transfer requests can now be made directly from www.fmjfee.com. To request a fee transfer from the website, you will need to begin by checking your payment status. Once the information is entered, you will be taken to your I-901 records. If there is a valid fee payment on your record a request transfer button will appear next to the print confirmation button. Once you select this transfer option you will be prompted to enter your new SEVIS ID, School or program code and verify that your personal information is correct. After submitting your request, you will be sent an initial email informing you that your transfer request was received and then you will be sent another email either confirming the transfer with instructions to print your new payment confirmation or a denial email explaining why the transfer request could not be processed.

Requests for fee transfers can also be made by mail or e-mailing SEVP. SEVP will consider your request and determine if the fee can be transferred. See the section on the basic rules for transferring fees.

When emailing your request, please insert ‘Fee Transfer’ in the subject line of your request and provide the following details:

  1. Your name
  2. Date of birth
  3. The SEVIS ID number that you originally paid on
  4. The SEVIS ID number you want to transfer the payment to
  5. Explain why the fee needs to be transferred. It will help speed your request if you include a copy of your receipt number. Include information on how to contact you if there are any questions.

SEVP will review your request and determine if the fee can be transferred. If your request is approved, you will receive an email or letter indicating that you can now print your updated I-901 payment confirmation at www.fmjfee.com reflecting the SEVIS ID from your new Form I-20 or DS-2019.

When you apply for any benefit where the I-901 SEVIS Fee will be verified, you will need to provide a copy of the updated I-901 fee receipt.

(Source- https://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/faq#_Toc81222153)

Step 2: Create another DS- 160 – Since you submitted the previous DS-160, you will not be able to retrieve and update it.  You can fill another DS-160 with the details of the new University. Make sure you carry the new DS- 160 confirmation page for the interview.

Scenario II – You have submitted the DS- 160, made the visa payment on CGI federal and also booked the date.

  1. Follow the steps in Scenario I
  2. Create another DS- 160 – Since you submitted the previous DS-160, you will not be able to retrieve and update it. You can fill another DS-160 with the details of the new University. Make sure you carry the new DS- 160 confirmation page for the interview.
  3. Update the profile on CGI Federal website- Update the new DS -160 confirmation number and SEVIS ID in your profile on the CGI federal Website. This can be done by logging in to your account on CGI. You don’t need to repay $160 as you have would not have taken the interview yet.  In case you are unable to do this for some reason, carry both the previous DS-160 confirmation page as well as the new one for the OFC interview.  You can report it to the consulate before the OFC and they can update the details before your interview.

Scenario III – You have appeared for the interview already and now you need to change the University.

  1. Fill in and submit a new DS-160 with details of new University and again make the payment of $160 on CGI federal website.
  2. Transfer SEVIS as detailed in Scenario Type 1.

We hope this information is helpful.  For any further clarification regarding this, you can post your queries in the visa application module chatbox and the counselors will guide you within 24 hrs. We wish you all a fabulous visa experience this year!