Published: April 20, 2022

Congratulations to all of our international students graduating this Spring! It has been a pleasure working with you during your time at CU Boulder. We are proud of your accomplishments and we wish you all the best on your next venture.

Program Completion Date

Most students in F-1 or J-1 status graduating this term will have a program completion date of May 4, 2022 entered into their SEVIS records.

Grace Period

After your program completion date, there is a grade period for students to stay in the U.S. and prepare for their departure home. During the grace period, you cannot take part in any studies or employment opportunities. You also cannot exit and re-enter the U.S. during your grace period as an F-1 or J-1 student.  

  • Students in F-1 status have a 60-day grace period that ends on July 3, 2022.
  • Students in J-1 status have a 30-day grace period that ends on June 3, 2022.

The following options are available to students in F-1 or J-1 status who will graduate this spring term who do not wish to leave the U.S. by the end of their grace period:

  • If you are a studen in F-1 statust, you are able to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
    • OPT is a benefit for students in F-1 status which allows you to remain in the U.S. for an extra year with authorization to work in your major field of study. This benefit must be applied for before the end of your grace period and must be authorized by USCIS. Current applications are taking three to five months so it is recommended to apply for OPT as soon as possible.
  • If you are a student in J-1 status, you are able to apply for Academic Training (AT).
    • AT is a benefit for students J-1 status in which you can remain in the U.S. for up to 36 months to work in your major field of study. The benefit must be authorized before the end of your 30-day grace period and can be approved by ISSS. It can take three to five days to process a request for AT.
  • If you will stay in the United States because you plan to transfer schools, please make sure to talk to an ISSS advisor and complete the F-1 SEVIS Transfer Out Form (available in MyISSS portal) or the  J-1 SEVIS Record Transfer-Out Request Form.
  • Another option would be to apply for a change of status to another visa status. Please make sure to consult with an immigration attorney if you decide to pursue this option.
  • If you decide to pursue another degree at CU Boulder, please let ISSS know and provide new financial support documentation so a new I-20 or DS-2019 can be issued for you with your new program information.

For a more thorough checklist on what to do before graduating this semester, please consult our website. If you have questions you would like to discuss with an ISSS advisor, feel free to email ISSS or join a remote advising session.