F1 Visa Grace Period

F1 Visa Grace Period

A visa grace period refers to the additional time provided to certain foreign nationals that allows them to stay in the United States longer than their duration of their visa validity. The F1 visa grace period gives students a 60-day grace period during which they may remain in US beyond the completion of their program of study or Optional Practical Training (OPT).
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During the F1 grace period, students can prepare for their departure and take care of certain things such as transferring schools, changing visa status, or starting a new program after OPT. All of these actions must be completed prior to the expiration of the 60-day F1 visa grace period.

F1 students who have withdrawn from classes after receiving authorization from International Student Services (ISS) only have a 15-day grace period to leave the US. F1 students who have withdrawn from classes without previous authorization from ISS have no grace period and must leave the US immediately.

F1 students can find the completion of studies date on their Form I-120. End date of course of study is the last date for student status. If you are studying in US on F1 Visa, you must be aware about this grace period. Otherwise, it could cause you to fall out of status.

F1 Grace Period Restrictions

During your F1 visa grace period, you may not:

  • Travel internationally and re-enter US on F1 status.
  • Apply for a program extension.
  • Work or study.

If you request your transfer in the middle of the semester, you will not have a grace period and need to start studying at your new school immediately.

End of Grace Period

The F1 student grace period ends no later than 60 days after:

  • The end of I-20 or completion of program of study; or
  • The completion date of authorized OPT program following completion of studies.

However, the grace period ends immediately if the F1 student departs the US.

Grace Period Ineligibility

You are not eligible for an F1 grace period if any of the following apply to you.

  • You fail to maintain F1 status.
  • You leave the US without graduating.
  • You do not complete your program.
  • You have been terminated.

Your grace period is not an extension of your academic program. You must depart the US before the end of your grace period. Leaving during your grace period will automatically end your F1 visa status, and you will no longer be eligible for any benefits based on F1 status, including applying for OPT.

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