Completion of Academic Program

After successfully completing an academic program, F-1 students are given a grace period allowing them to remain in the United States for a specified time after program of study, OPT or Academic Training. Travel and re-entry to the United States as an F-1 student during the grace period is not possible.

F-1 Students

F-1 students have a 60-day grace period in which they are permitted to do one of the following:

  • Begin a new program of study at Dominican: Students must apply to the new program, be admitted and be issued a new I-20 from the Dominican Admissions Office before the end of the grace period. Proof of funding is required to issue the new I-20. Please e-mail the Global Education Office  (GEO) with questions regarding the I-20 issuance.
  • Transfer to another institution: Student must apply to another institution, be admitted, have the Dominican SEVIS records transferred out to that institution and be issued their new I-20 before the end of the grace period. In order to transfer out the Dominican SEVIS record, student will need to meet with Vaolele Stawiarski, Designated School Official, and submit the SEVIS Transfer Out Form. 
  • Apply for a change of status: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must receive the application to change the immigration status before the end of the grace period.
  • Depart the United States before the end of the grace period.

F-2 Dependents

The immigration status of an F-2 is dependent upon the F-1 student. F2-status dependents cannot remain in the United States after the F-1 student has departed the United States during the grace period.

Optional Practical Training and 60-Day Grace Period

F-1 students who plan to work in the United States after graduation, but have not yet applied for Optional Practical Training (OPT) must do so immediately.

The OPT application must be received by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before the end of the grace period.

However, GEO recommends that students apply for OPT as soon as possible.

Please keep in mind that it takes 3-4 months to process the OPT application and students cannot begin working until they receive the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card.


Vaolele Stawiarski, DSO—ContactI'm Vaolele Stawiarski, Associate Director of International Student Services at Dominican.

Please contact me to set up an OPT advising appointment and learn about your options during your 60-day grace period.