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60 Days Grace Period

 

Once you complete your academic program, or your Optional Practical Training (OPT), you have a 60 day grace period to remain in the US. The time indicated on your I-20 does not allow you to remain in the US unless you are continuing your full-time studies in order to fulfill program requirements. 

 

No Employment

You are not permitted to continue employment during this time.

 

NO TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE US

Traveling within the US is acceptable during this period. 

Once you exit the US, you cannot re-enter the US on your F-1 status. Once you leave the US, the grace period is over. 

 

VISA

Students who have either applied for (or already received approval for) a different visa status may remain in the US. 

 

KEEP YOUR RECORDS

Be sure to keep your past and present immigration records. If you have any future contact with USCIS, they may request all previously issued immigration-related documents. 


Change of Education Level

If you decide to further your studies to another education level: 

  • You must obtain a new I-20 within 60 days of finishing your classes or OPT
  • Your new program must begin within 5 months

 

INITIAL ATTENDANCE I-20

If the program begins more than 5 months after the last day of classes or OPT, USCIS requires that you leave the US within the 60 day grace period.

You must then request an “initial attendance” I-20 and re-enter the US on a new SEVIS record.


Change or Adjustment of Status 

If you intend to stay in the US following the completion of your studies, you may qualify for a change of immigration status to another non-immigrant status (such as H1-B or TN temporary non-immigrant worker categories).