Skip Navigation

F-1 Grace Period

An F-1 student may be admitted into the US up to 30 days before the program start date listed on Form I-20.

An F-1 student who has been granted an authorized early withdrawal in SEVIS by a DSO has up to 15 days to depart the United States.

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. 


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 SBU; 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 your studies early or complete your academic program prior to the end date on your Form I-20.

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 start 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 on the  Travel page.

Timeline Illustration of F-1 Duration of Status and Grace Periods 

F-1 Grace Period Chart