What are my Options After Graduation?

Completion of Academic Program

After successfully completing an academic program, F-1 and J-1 students are given a grace period allowing them to remain in the U.S. for a specified time after program of study, OPT or Academic Training.

Travel and re-entry to the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 student during the grace period is not possible.

F-1 Students

F-1 students have a 60-day grace period in which they are permitted to do one of the following:

  1. Begin a new program of study: Students must apply to the new program, be admitted and be issued a new I-20 from the Office of International Education (OIE) before the end of the grace period. Proof of funding is required to issue the new I-20.
  2. Transfer to another institution: Student must apply to another institution, be admitted, have the SEVIS records transferred out to that institution and be issued their new I-20 before the end of the grace period. In order to transfer out the SEVIS record, student will need to meet with an OIE immigration advisor and submit the SEVIS Form.
  3. Apply for a change of status: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must receive the application to change the immigration status before the end of the grace period.
  4. Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT): U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must receive the application to change the immigration status before the end of the grace period.  However, OIE recommends that students apply for OPT as soon as possible.  Please keep in mind that it takes 3-4 months to process the OPT application and students cannot begin working until they receive the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card.  To apply for OPT, contact the Office of International Education and set up an appointment.
  5. Depart the U.S. before the end of the grace period

J-1 Students

J-1 students have a 30-day grace period in which they are permitted to do one of the following:

  1. Begin a new program of study at Stanislaus State: Students must apply to the new program, be admitted, and be issued a new DS- 2019 from the Office of International Education before the end of the grace period. Proof of funding is required to issue the new DS-2019.
  2. Transfer to another institution: Students must apply to another institution, be admitted, have the SEVIS records transferred out to that institution, and be issued their new DS-2019 before the end of the grace period. In order to transfer out the SEVIS record, students will need to meet with the Exchange Visitor Program Coordinator and submit a SEVIS transfer form.
  3. Apply for a change of status: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must receive the application to change the immigration status before the end of the grace period.
  4. Apply for Academic Training: J-1 students who plan to work in the U.S. after graduation but have not yet applied for Academic Training must do so immediately. Although students are not required to begin employment right away, OIE must approve the Academic Training application before the end of the 30-day grace period. However, OIE recommends that students apply for Academic Training as soon as possible. Please keep in mind that students cannot begin working until they receive the new DS-2019 and written authorization from OIE.
  5. Depart the U.S. before the end of the grace period