Maintain Legal Status

ISSS’s primary responsibility is to help you maintain your legal status so that you can study and enjoy your time in the United States without issues.  As an international student, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the regulations and seek assistance when something is not clear.  We do our best to communicate important deadlines and regulations that may affect your legal status, so please make sure that you read emails from our office carefully and consistently.

Grace Period

For F-1 students, a grace period is 60 days following the end of their program.  For undergraduate students, this is the last day of your coursework.  For graduate students, this is the last day that you complete or submit any final thesis, dissertation, or coursework if not pursuing a thesis. A common point of confusion for students is understanding what can and cannot be done during a grace period.   For example, an F-1 student can do the following during their grace period:

An F-1 student cannot do the following during the end of their grace period:

  • Work on campus without authorization
  • Apply for a program extension
  • Travel outside of the U.S. and re-enter on their completed program’s I-20 without having applied for OPT

J-1 students have a 30 day grace period. For undergraduate students, this is the last day of your coursework. For graduate students, this is the last day that you complete and submit any final thesis, dissertation, or the date you complete your coursework if not pursuing a thesis. J-1 students are not able to do the same things that F-1 students can do during their grace period. Some of these differences are due to regulations, and some of the differences are due to the functions available in the government system. As a J-1 students record becomes de-activated in the government system on the day following their program end date, they should plan to do all of the following before their program expires:

F-1 Student

For F-1 students, a grace period is 60 days following the end of their program.  For undergraduate students, this is the last day of your coursework.  For graduate students, this is the last day that you complete or submit any final thesis, dissertation, or coursework if not pursuing a thesis. A common point of confusion for students is understanding what can and cannot be done during a grace period.   For example, an F-1 student can do the following during their grace period:

An F-1 student cannot do the following during the end of their grace period:

  • Work on campus without authorization
  • Apply for a program extension
  • Travel outside of the U.S. and re-enter on their completed program’s I-20 without having applied for OPT

J-1 Student

J-1 students have a 30 day grace period. For undergraduate students, this is the last day of your coursework. For graduate students, this is the last day that you complete and submit any final thesis, dissertation, or the date you complete your coursework if not pursuing a thesis. J-1 students are not able to do the same things that F-1 students can do during their grace period. Some of these differences are due to regulations, and some of the differences are due to the functions available in the government system. As a J-1 students record becomes de-activated in the government system on the day following their program end date, they should plan to do all of the following before their program expires: