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Grace Period


F-1 Grace Periods


  1. An F-1 student may be admitted 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, to prepare to depart the United States.*


Completion of Studies and Grace Periods

The completion of studies date on the I-20 is considered the end of the program, and 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 a period of OPT that predates your current Form.


End of Grace Period


The grace period ends when you depart the U.S., or no later than 60 days 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 status based upon the current I-20
  • You may not apply for a program extension.
  • You may not work or study.

These same standards apply to any periods in-between the program end date on Form 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 60 day 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 F-1 status ends, and you are no longer eligible for any benefit based upon F-1 status, including making application for OPT.



*NAFSA Manual 2015