A Division of the International Studies Office

Grace Period

Grace Period

F-1 Grace Periods

  1. An F-1 student may be admitted into the United Status up to 30 days before the program start date listed on Form I-20.
  2. An F-1 student may remain in the United States for up to 60 days beyond:
    • the completion of the program of study; and
    • the completion date of any authorized post-completion optional practical training
  3. An F-1 student who has been granted an authorized early withdrawal by a DSO may remain in the United States for up to 15 days following the withdrawal noted in SEVIS.*

J-1 Grace Periods

  1. A J-1 student may be admitted up to 30 days before the program start date listed on the DS-2019 form.
  2. A J-1 student may remain in the U.S. for up to 30 days beyond the end date listed on the DS-2019 form.

Completion of Studies and Grace Periods

The completion of studies date on the I-20 is considered the end of the program. The grace period ensues unless you have applied for post completion OPT; requested an F-1 transfer to another school; have been approved for a higher degree level at UVa; or have applied for a change to another qualifying status.  Note that these actions must occur prior to expiration of the 60 day period.

Please be aware that the end date of the I-20 will be shortened if you end studies, or request an OPT start date that predates the end date of your current I-20.

End of Grace Period

The grace period ends when you depart the U.S., or no later than 60 days (or 30 days for J-1) after the end of the I-20 or your EAD card (if on OPT), whichever comes first.

Restrictions During the Grace Period

  • You may not reenter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status.
  • You may not apply for a program extension.
  • You may not work or study.

These standards apply to any period between the program end date on the I-20 and the commencement of valid optional practical training employment authorization except that students may apply for admission to the U.S. if complying with the documentation requirements outlined in the travel abroad section.

Unless you make a non-frivolous application to change status before the end of the grace period, you must depart the U.S. before the end of the grace period.  If you leave the U.S. during your grace period, your legal status ends, and you are no longer eligible for any benefit based upon F-1 status, including applying for OPT.

*NAFSA Manual 2015