OPT Expired. Apply for new uni without transferring from previous one

Hi,

my opt expired. and right now i am currently in the 60 day grace period. i will be finishing my thesis and submitting in couple of months. my school didn’t want to extend my I20 so i was forced to apply for opt and before i could apply for extension, the deadline passed and i didn’t get to finish my thesis. now i want to apply to different university so that i can maintain my F1 status. but I do not want to transfer my sevis from my current university cause if i do, then my program will not be valid anymore and i will loose all the classes and the degree

i asked the new university where i am trying to apply for the program and they said i have to transfer my sevis to new I20 so that I can stay under the same F1 or if I apply for new I20 with new sevis, then I have to leave the country and come back again. i would like to know if anyone has been in similar situation? like i said, I do not want to transfer my sevis from old university. i want to finish that degree. if i enroll in new university with new I20 and sevis, do i need to go out of country right away? or is it only next time when i go to out of country, i need to get the sevis/visa stamped?

sorry for such a big post. i really appreciate any honest and helpful answers. Thank you

If you have not graduated, you can ask for extension I-20 to continue your studies. I think you have to be enrolled and on status to defend your thesis. I suggest you delay your defense and talk to your DSO about an extension of your I-20.

I think if you want to do it without transfer of SEVIS you have to go out of country.

thank you ramanan for your reply. so if i talk to my DSO at school and convince him to do the extension, can i stay in the country and continue to finish my thesis. Also, if i get my I20 approved/reinstated, can I apply for any kind of work permit like STEM OPT extension or even CPT?