Completing your Academic Program?
- Immigration Status
- Staying in Status Overview
- Staying in Status Presentation
- Getting into J Status
- SEVIS Fee Chart
- SEVIS Fee Information
- The SEVIS Fee
- SEVIS Helpful links
- Address Updates
- Completion of course of study
- Visa Options Powerpoint
- Visa versus Visa Status
- US Visas & IU
- Enrollment Information
- Travel & Re-entry
- Financial Aid
This page contains important information for students who are nearing the completion of their academic program. Immigration looks at “completion of study” dates, not the “graduation dates” that the university system uses.
For most students, your completion date will be the last day of the term in which you complete your degree requirements (regardless of the date you actually graduate from the university).
If you are a graduate student writing a thesis or dissertation, your completion date will be the date that you submit the final draft of your thesis or dissertation (provided that you have been making average progress towards your degree completion).
NOTE: Your eligibility to work on campus ends upon completion of your program of study.
If you plan to work in the US after graduation, you must apply for Academic Training BEFORE the completion date (as described above). This means that your program sponsor (Indiana University, Fulbright, etc.) must process your request for Academic Training before the completion date. Contact your program sponsor, or if you are sponsored by Indiana University, see: Academic Training J-1 Employment.
If you do not wish to apply for Academic Training, federal regulations provide you with a 30 day “grace period,” which starts when you complete your program of study. (For example, if you complete your program of study on May 4, your grace period ends on June 3—regardless of what the expiration date on your DS-2019 is!) During this 30-day grace period, you have several options, which are described below. If your program sponsor is not Indiana University, please consult with your program sponsor’s office to determine whether or not these options apply to you.
- If you are not subject to the two year foreign residency requirement [212(e)], you may apply for a change of status. Immigration must receive the application before the end of the grace period.
- You can transfer to a new program. You must request a “transfer out” of your SEVIS record via iStart (istart.iu.edu). You will need to have your transfer out approved by the Office of International Services before the end of the grace period. Your new school must provide you with a new DS-2019 within 30 days of the date your program is officially transferred to the new school.
- You can start a new program of study at Indiana University. You must be fully admitted and apply for and receive a new DS-2019 from the Office of International Services before the end of the grace period. Proof of funding will be required at the time OIS creates your new DS-2019 and at least 60% of your funds must come from a source other than your family. You can make your request for a new program of study via iStart (istart.iu.edu).
- You can leave the US before the end of the grace period. It would be very helpful to us if you would complete an Exit Form via iStart (istart.iu.edu) when your departure plans are finalized.
If your plan is to leave the US before the end of your grace period, please note that if you plan to travel to Canada or anywhere else outside of the US, the Office of International Services will not be able to sign your DS-2019 for travel. If you travel to Canada or elsewhere outside of the US, you will not be able to re-enter the US as a J-1 student.
Finally, if you have dependents (J-2) with you in the US, their status is dependent upon yours. If you choose to leave the US after you complete your program of study, your family may not legally stay here if they hold J-2 status.
If you have questions about the information in this email, please contact the Office of International Services via phone (855-9086) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We wish you luck in your future endeavors, and hope that you have enjoyed your time at Indiana University!