Maintaining Your Status
F-1 Students receive a 60 day grace period after completing their program while J-1 Students receive a 30 day grace period. You cannot continue on-campus employment during this time. This time can be used for the following:
- Prepare to depart the US
- Travel within the US
- Receive a Change of Level I-20 to begin a new program at USF (F-1 only/ must begin within 5 months of previous program end date)
- Transfer Out to new school (F-1 only)
- Apply for Post Completion OPT ( login to iStart and click on the “OPT Application” E-Form under “F-1Practical Training”) or Academic Training (if applicable)
During your grace period you CANNOT:
- Exit the US and reenter
- Continue any employment
- Take classes
Taking a cruise is considered exiting the United States. For this reason, you should travel with all your valid travel documents. If you go on a cruise during your 60 day grace period please be aware that you will not be allowed to re-enter as an F-1 or J-1.
You could potentially re-enter as a visitor using a B1/B2 visa or ESTA if you are from a Visa Waiver country.
Warning: Entering as a visitor would abandon any benefits related to your F-1 or J-1, such as OPT or starting a new degree program. If you have any concerns please make an appointment to meet with an International Student Advisor to discuss your options.