Finishing Your Degree or Program
The end date on your Form I-20 or DS-2019 is an estimate of the time it typically takes to finish your degree or program. This estimated time to completion is set when initially requesting an I-20 or DS-2019 from ISSS.
Program End Dates
For IEP, AMP, undergraduate, certificate programs, exchange, and graduate/profession programs without a thesis/dissertation requirement, program completion dates are based on the last day of finals.
For graduate/professional students with a thesis/dissertation requirement, program completion dates are based on one of the following:
- The last day of the semester in which you defend your thesis/dissertation
- The date of defense
- The last day of finals for any required courses (for OPT only)
F-1 and J-1 students have a "grace period" and must take action to remain in the US. If no action is taken in a timely manner, the student must depart by the end of their grace period.
- F-1 students have a 60-day grace period upon completion of their studies or at the end of their practical training.
- J-1 students have a 30-day grace period upon completion of their studies or at the end of their academic training.
Options that Must Be Taken Before the Grace Period
- Extension of I-20 or DS-2019. If you need more time to complete your degree/program, you may request an extension before your I-20 or DS-2019 expires if you have a compelling academic or medical reason. More information can be found on the F-1 Student or J-1 Student information page under Maintaining Your Status section.
- Apply for Academic Training to participate in an internship opportunity.
- Apply for a Transfer Out (J-1) to another school to continue or begin a new degree/program at another institution.
- Apply for Matriculation (J-1) to begin a new degree/program at WVU.
Options That Can Be Taken During the Grace Period
- Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
- Apply for a Change of Education Level (F-1) to begin a new degree/program at WVU.
- Apply for a Transfer Out (F-1) to another school to continue or begin a new degree/program at another institution.
- Apply for a Change of Status to another nonimmigrant status. Be sure to contact an immigration attorney if you have questions about this option.
if you have question about your options or to receive further guidance.