Close Menu

Immigration and Status Reminders for Graduates

Congratulations graduates! As a reminder: F-1 students have a 60-day grace period and J-1 students have a 30-day grace period from the date they complete their program. During this time such students may transfer, depart the United States, change their status, or apply/start OPT or Academic Training.

Don't forget to apply for graduation in your final term! 

Applying for OPT

If you would like to apply for OPT and have not yet submitted your application, please turn in the required documents to the International Center (IC) to allow time for processing. For details on how to apply, make sure to complete the OPT Tutorial and review the OPT Webpage.

The IC's processing time is approximately two weeks. The processing time from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receipt notice date until your EAD arrives is currently three months (see for details). Apply as soon as you are certain that you will complete your program each semester.

If you will complete your program during the summer term, you may apply based on the last day of registration.

Academic Training 

J-1 students sponsored by IIT may be eligible to apply for off-campus work authorization—Academic Training (AT). AT must be in the field of study indicated on the DS-2019 form. A written job office is required in order to apply. For further instructions please review the Academic Training webpage.

Transferring Out 

If you would like to start a program at another U.S. school, please see the transfer-out webpage. You must transfer your SEVIS record if you have graduated from Illinois Tech and are starting a new degree program at a new university or if you will not complete studies at Illinois Tech and are starting studies at a new institution. The transfer of your SEVIS record is an immigration process not an academic process.  An admission letter and the IC transfer-out request form are required.

Program Extension

Please check the end date on your I-20/DS-2019. If you do not think that you have the required GPA or have reason to believe you will not graduate on time, you should apply for a program extension with the IC to ensure that you do not fall out of status.

If you do not graduate and do not apply for a program extension before your program end date, you will be out of status. If you have any questions, please contact an International Center student advisor during walk-in advising hours.