How to change the university name on DS 160/
after visa appointment booking?

A. The SEVIS is Paid, DS-160 is Submitted, But Visa Payment is not Made

The simplest procedure of the three; all you need to do is transfer the SEVIS from University A to University B. You do not need to pay the SEVIS fee again for the new University. 

  • The fmjfee website is used to pay the I-901 fee. To transfer the fee to another University, go onto the website and fill in the required details for payment status.
  • If there is a valid record of your 1-901 fee, you will see the transfer button. Click on it.
  • The website will prompt you to fill the SEVIS ID and school code of the new university. Enter the correct details and submit.
  • You will receive an email for the transfer request. 
  • A second email will either confirm your transfer or deny it. If the transfer is approved, print the new details for later use. In case the request is rejected, the email will have an explanation.

Once you have the new SEVIS number, take the following steps:

  • Since you have submitted the DS-160 for the previous one, you will need to fill a new form for the new University.
  • Fill the new DS-160 form with the details of University B
  • Submit the new DS-160 and print confirmation
  • Book appointment
  • Take the new DS-160 confirmation page to the scheduled appointment 

B. The DS- 160 is Submitted, Visa Payment is Made, and the Interview Date is Booked

In the second situation, you need to complete the steps explained in scenario A above.

Create a new DS-160, fill it with the SEVIS number of the second university and submit it. Since you have already paid for the visa and scheduled the interview, the only extra steps to take are:

  • Log on to your account on the CGI Federal website. Update the information on it by changing the
    • DS -160 confirmation number
    • SEVIS ID
  • There is no need to pay the visa fee again because you have not attended the interview. 

If for some reason you are not able to update the SEVIS ID or DS-160 confirmation on CGI federal, carry both old and new DS confirmation pages to your OFC Interview. Tell the officials about the university change, and they will update the details before the interview. 

C. You have Appeared for the Visa Interview

Changing universities in the third situation can get a little tricky.

Let’s say you have appeared for the interview, and your F1 visa gets approved. After that, a top university in the US accepts you. To change your University, these are the steps to follow:

  • Get the I-20 form from the new school. 
  • Transfer the SEVIS fee as explained in steps i to v in Scenario A above.
  • Fill and submit a new DS-160 with the details of the second university. 
  • Pay the visa fees once again. 
  • Schedule and attend the OFC and visa interview appointment a second time.

There is one more method to change universities after getting your student visa to the US.

  • Accept admission to University A.
  • Once you reach the USA, tell the university that you wish to transfer the I-20 to University B. You will need written proof of admission to the second university at this point.
  • University A fills out the required forms and then sends it to University B.
  • University B enrols you, generates a new I-20 and sends it to you.

It is imperative to keep all your I-20 forms, the one from University A and the one from University B. Moreover, ensure that your student status is always ‘Active’ by obeying the M1 or F1 Visa Rules. Do not let university A ‘terminate’ your SEVIS status, or else you will have to leave the country and re-start the entire process of getting a student visa.

Is there a condition when changing universities may not be possible?

As long as you’re changing the university for yourself, you can always change the university after scheduling a US student VISA appointment.

Is it easy to change universities after visa appointment booking?

It is apparent that the procedure of changing universities and the related SEVIS ID on your student visa application can range from being easy to not-so-convenient. If you’ve not booked the appointment, the steps are simple. If you’ve booked and attended the interview, then the process is a bit cumbersome.

The best course of action is to take a calculative step rather than blindly applying for a visa right after receiving the first University acceptance letter. Do not rush into booking your visa interview. If you think the chances of another, better university accepting your application are high, then wait for their letter.

Simply put, it is only after you have received an answer from all your preferred US Universities, you should book the student visa interview.

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