Whether you plan to return to your home country, transfer to another degree program or move on to employment elsewhere in the U.S., you want to insure that you do this without affecting your immigration status in the U.S. Before you leave, it is important to have an understanding, not only about what you may need to take care of before you transition away from WNE, but also what you may or may not be able to do once your program at WNE ends.
You should review this information carefully so that you’ll be able to plan the next step in your academic or professional career. Please note that you should plan well in advance, as not all transitions can happen quickly and some require more time. Good luck!
Optional Practical Training
The grace periods below are for students to complete their program of study. If you do NOT complete it, then your grace period depends on the reason for departure. Contact ISSS for more information.
F-1 students have a grace period of 60 days. This grace period begins on the day that you complete your program, regardless of the expiration date noted on your I-20. Note that once you depart the US during the 60-day grace period, you cannot re-enter the US in F-1 status with the Form I-20 issued for the program you just completed. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of your official program end date.
Grace periods also apply to any dependents in F-2 status.
If you will remain in the U.S. to take advantage of your OPT, your 60 day grace period will begin the day after your OPT expiration.
J-1 Students and Scholars
You have a grace period of 30 days once your program, employment, or research ends. If you will remain in the U.S. to take advantage of your Academic Training (AT) benefit, your 30 day grace period will begin the day after your AT expiration.
Grace periods also apply to any dependents in J-2 status.
If you have finished your academic program at WNE and are applying for graduation, you should talk to Student Administrative Services to ask about Commencement.
Extending your I-20
If your program end date is approaching and you have NOT finished your degree, contact ISSS as soon as possible to extend your I-20. It is NOT possible to extend your I-20 once your program end date has ended.
If you plan to transfer, you must first discuss this with your academic advisor and complete all required paperwork. Once done, please provide ISSS with your acceptance letter to your new school and a transfer out form (if applicable). If you are a continuing student, you must begin at your new school within 5 months. If you are an initial student, you must begin your course within 30 days. If you are working on-campus, your employment ends the day your record is transferred to the new school.
If you are currently on OPT and plan to transfer to a new school or begin a new program, your OPT ends immediately once your record is transferred and you are no longer eligible to work. Send ISSS your acceptance letter to your new school and a transfer out form (if applicable).