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Maintaining Status

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Completing Your Degree Program

As you plan your transition from your academic program, it is important to manage your immigration status. Your post-completion plans will determine what you must do to maintain legal status in the United States.

As an F-1 or J-1 student, you have some decisions to make and possibly action items to complete to maintain your status.

Final Semester

If this is your final semester or you are completing thesis or dissertation hours only as  a part time student, you must submit a request for Reduced Course Load. This form must be submitted prior to the beginning of the semester that you will be less than full-time enrolled.

Degree Completion

Degree completion date is defined as:

Returning to your Home Country

F-1 students can remain in the United States for an additional 60 days after fulfilling program requirements. This time can be used to prepare for the next stage in your life, or you can use this time to see more of the United States. You must leave by the end of this period if you have not taken steps to extend your nonimmigrant status.

J-1 students can remain in the United States for an additional 30 days after fulfilling program requirements. This time can be used to prepare for the next stage in your life, or you can use this time to see more of the United States. You must leave by the end of this period if you have not taken steps to extend your nonimmigrant status.

During your grace period, you may:

  • Travel and depart the US prior to the end of grace period

  • Apply for off-campus work authorization (if applicable)

  • Transfer SEVIS record to another institution

  • Pursue another degree program at ASU

  • Change your visa status to another status that is available to you

Leaving the U.S. at any point during your grace period will end your F-1 or J-1 status.

Work in the U.S.

If you would like to work in the United States, it may be possible for you to obtain work authorization through Optional Practical Training (OPT for F-1 students) or Academic Training (AT for J-1 students). There are strict deadlines for filing for practical or academic training, so you'll want to find out your options during the first month of your last semester.

F-1 students have a 60 day grace period after completing their course of study and after Optional Practical Training (OPT). J-1 students have a 30 day grace period after completing their course of study and after Academic Training.

Earn Another Degree

F-1 Students

If you have applied for and received admittance to another program of study at ASU for the upcoming semester, a DSO must update your SEVIS record to include your new program of study

If you have applied for and received admittance from an institute other than ASU, you will need to have your SEVIS record transferred to the new school

J-1 Students

If you have applied for and received admittance to another program of study at ASU or another institution, please contact the ISSC for further advisement.

  • If the new institution is willing to accept you to continue with your J-1 status, we can work with your new institution on transferring out your SEVIS record during your grace period.

  • If your option is to be F-1 for your new program at ASU or another institution, you will be required to leave the U.S. to apply for an F-1 student visa. Your new immigration status will be activated upon your return to the U.S.