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Completing Your Academic Program

Before Graduation

If you have taken the majority of your classes and you do not have a full course of study in your last semester, you will need to apply for a reduced course load with ISS before classes begin.

If you would like to take advantage of you Optional Practical Training (OPT: one year of authorized work) after graduation, you must apply for it with ISS. You can submit your application beginning 90 days before your program end date. More information.

If you have not finished the coursework necessary to graduate and you need to extend your I-20, you must apply for an I-20 extension with ISS no later than one month before your I-20’s program end date.

After Graduation

Your 60 day grace period begins the day after the program end date on your current I-20. During the 60 days following your program completion, you will need to do one of the following:

Begin your OPT

Your OPT start date must be within your 60 day grace period, otherwise you will be considered out of status

Transfer to another institution

In order to transfer to another institution you must:

  • Apply to the new institution and be accepted as a student.
  • When you have been accepted, you should receive a Transfer Verification Form from the new institution.
  • Bring your acceptance letter and Transfer Verification Form to ISS to be filled out by a DSO (the DSO will then complete the form and return it to the new institution. Your SEVIS record will be transferred to the new institution after the completion of your program at Southeastern and upon your request.).
  • Begin studying at the new institution within 5 months of your transfer.

Note: If you would like to return home between your program completion at Southeastern and beginning your new program, notify the new institution of your plans so they can either have your ‘transfer pending’ I-20 ready before you leave, or they can mail it to your home country address.

Return to your home country with no plans to return on the same F-1 visa

If you choose to return to your home country after your program completion, your SEVIS record will automatically ‘complete’ and no further steps will need to be taken.

If you choose to return to the US later, you will need to apply for a new visa.