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I-20 End Date and Grace Period Information

If you will not graduate by the program end date on your I-20, federal regulations require you to request an extension BEFORE the end date on your I-20. After the I-20 end date, you will be out of F-1 status.

Eligibility According to the Federal Regulations:
  • Program end date extensions can be granted for students who have continually maintained their status and when the delay in completion is "caused by compelling academic or medical reasons."
  • The regulations state that "delay caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extension."
What is my program end date?
  • Your program end date can be found at the top of your I-20. It will reflect the last date of classes in your program. If you complete your program before the program end date, it will be shortened to reflect the last date of classes in your program.
How to Extend Your I-20 Program End Date:
  • Meet with your Academic Advisor to determine your new program end date.
  • Contact your DSO at ISS to update your SEVIS record and print a new I-20.
    • You must do this BEFORE the end date on your I-20 or your SEVIS record will be out of status.
    • If your funding information has changed, you must submit new documentation to ISS to issue the updated I-20.
60 Day Grace Period After Program Completion:
  • According to the F-1 regulations, you have a 60-day grace period from the program completion date on your I-20 to stay in the US, transfer to a new school, apply for the Optional Practical Training (OPT) work benefit, or apply to change your visa status. If you will not transfer to a new school, apply for OPT, or apply to change your status, you must depart the US no later than the 60 day limit.
  • Students may not reenter the US in F-1 status during the 60 day grace period.
  • If your SEVIS record is in Completed status, no grace period is available. You must apply for reinstatement if eligible or depart the US immediately.
60 Day Grace Period After OPT/STEM OPT Completion:
  • Students are eligible for the 60-day grace period at the end of OPT/STEM OPT. This time may be used to transfer to a new school or depart the US.
Is there a grace period if my OPT is denied?
  • F-1 students do not receive an additional grace period after the denial of an OPT application (post-completion or STEM). The grace period allowed to the student would be the grace period from the end of the program, if the student is denied a post-completion OPT, or the end of the post-completion OPT, if the student is denied a STEM extension.