I have an issue with my SEVIS transfer from the old school to the new school. I did a master's on a J1 visa with 212e applies. I got 212 e waiver approval last week. When I asked my old school to transfer my SEVIS record to pursue a Ph.D. at a new school. The questions they asked me to verify with immigration attorney are
As I got 212 e waiver new school cannot extend my DS-2019, I am currently on Academic training and have DS-2019 till June 2021. My plan is to transfer SEVIS to a new school to pursue a Ph.D. and I am planning to change the status to F1.
1) If I transfer my SEVIS to the new school will USCIS revoke/denied my waiver? and would it affect my change of status down the line as I am planning to change my visa status to F1 after my J1 SEVIS transfer to a new school?
Here is the email from School.
I contacted a colleague that has been working with Exchange Visitors for almost 30 years and this is her response:
Once a waiver is granted, it is looked at as a message, “ Thanks for letting me use a J-1 but I no longer want the privileges and responsibilities.” Therefore, you cannot take another step that gives you new privileges and no responsibilities. Each new DS-2019 requires a signature from the exchange visitor. If you look at the statement they are signing, it states they have no immigrant intent. A waiver is looked at as possible immigrant intent and sure enough, if you try to use the waiver down the line and you have signed after the waiver that you do not intend to immigrate, it can cause an H or PR petition to be denied because of “fraud.” Finally, any time a new institution issues a new DS, there is new funding added and any new funding nullifies any previous waiver. The waiver only applies to DS-2019s that were presented in the waiver process and reviewed for their circumstances. A new DS causes new funding and new circumstances that the State Department has not reviewed and therefore, it is likely USCIS will not consider a waiver valid if it was issued prior to the issuance date on other DS-2019s. All to say I consider it very risky.
Subash, before we process a transfer, I would advise that you speak with an immigration attorney in order to determine how a transfer will affect your waiver. If you transfer then apply for the change of status to F-1, it may cancel the waiver approval and would lead to your change of status application being denied. She suggested that you continue with your AT and apply for the change of status to F-1 with the waiver approval you have now.
I would really appreciate it if you have any thoughts.