Final Term

Completion of Program,

According to Immigration, once you have completed all the required courses for your degree, you have completed your program.  It does not matter which semester you are graduating.  You may not request to take additional courses in a new semester once your required coursework has been completed.   


Grace Period

F-1 students have 60 days of grace period, J-1 have 30 days.  Your grace period will begin the end of the term in which you complete all degree requirements (eg. 5/14/2013, 6/28/2013, 8/9/2013, 12/20/2014).  Your  I-20/DS-2019 will be shortened to the end date of the term. 



  • On Campus Work
    F-1 and J-1 students are permitted to work on campus up to the last day of their final enrolled term. Please notify your employer that you can no longer work on campus from this date. 

  • Optional Practical Training (F-1) Academic Training
    Optional Practical training is work authorization after graduation for F-1 students.  You must attend an OPT workshop before making an appointment to apply for OPT.  

  • Academic Training (J-1)  

  • Academic Training is work authorization for J-1 students.  Check with your program sponsor or government sponsor if you are allowed to participate in this. (Please refer to our employment sections for details) 


Pursuing Further Studies

  • If you wish to pursue another degree at VU please make sure a new I-20 or DS-2019 is issued to you within the grace period. 

  • If you wish to pursue a degree at another institution please refer to the SEVIS transfer out procedures.  Your SEVIS record must be transferred out and a new I-20 and DS-2019 must be obtained within the grace period (60 days for F-1, 30 days for J-1). 

Change of Status

If you are going to change your immigration status, the application must be filed within the grace period.  While your application is pending, you may be able to remain in the U.S.  


Travel Outside the U.S.

After you complete your degree requirements it is not possible to travel outside the U.S. and return to the U.S. during your grace period in F-1 or J-1 status, unless you have practical training authorization and proof of employment. You may travel within the U.S. during the grace period.


If for any reason you cannot graduate as planned and your I-20 or DS-2019 is expiring, please see an OIP advisor immediately.