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Completing Your Program

Completing Your Program

Once you’ve completed your program it’s important to understand what options you have, what is expected of you as an F-1 Visa student and what steps you need to take. Below you will find the details of each of those options to help ensure a smooth transition.

Contact OISP

Grace Period

F-1 students are allowed to remain in the U.S. for 60 days after you complete your program; this is commonly called your “grace period”. During your grace period, you continue to be in F-1 status; however, there are limitations on your activities, including:

  • Travel: You may not re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status during your grace period.
  • Employment: You are not eligible for work authorization during your grace period, unless you have been approved for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) or if you are employed on-campus and will enroll in another program at Franklin in the next term.

Before the end of your grace period, you are expected to depart the U.S., apply for post-completion OPT (if application not already submitted), transfer to another institution or academic program, or change to another non-immigrant status (if eligible).

Departing the U.S.

Verify that your departure from the U.S. will be before the end of your grace period and report your departure to OISP. Consider details such as driver’s license expiration date, paying any outstanding bills, making arrangements to receive security deposits, updating your mailing address, and closing bank accounts. Keep important documents, such as Social Security and EAD cards, in case you return.

Applying for OPT

If you plan to apply for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), you should begin the application process at the beginning of your final term.  USCIS will accept OPT applications no earlier than 90 days before your Program End Date.  For most students, your Program End Date will be your official commencement date.  Your application must be received by USCIS within 30 days of being signed by OISP and no later than the end of your grace period; if not, USCIS will deny the application.  
 

Transferring Out

To maintain your lawful presence in the U.S. when transferring, you must notify OISP before the end of your grace period that you have been admitted to another SEVP-approved institution. Submit the Transfer Out form with a copy of your new school's acceptance letter, and OISP will help you with this process.  You must begin attending classes in the next available term or within five months, whichever is earlier.

If you're unable to transfer while your F-1 status is active, OISP can still transfer your record in Terminated status to your new school after you are accepted there. Be sure to ask your new school if they want you to transfer your terminated record or start with a new SEVIS record.

Starting New Program

If you choose to pursue a new F-1 eligible program at Franklin University, you must apply to the program and be accepted before the end of your grace period to maintain your lawful presence in the U.S.  Updated financial documents will be required. Submit an Initial I-20 Request form after you have been accepted. You must begin attending classes in the next available term or within five months, whichever is earlier.