Your Final Term

Grace Period

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Leave the U.S. before your grace period expires

If you are leaving the U.S. after the completion of your program, the grace period allows you to remain in the U.S. past your program end date to get ready to leave or to travel within the States. 

F-1 Grace Period: 60 Days
J-1 Grace Period: 30 Days

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Returning to the U.S.

If you are have not applied for F-1 Optional Practical Training or J-1 Academic Training, you cannot return to the U.S. in F or J status status during the grace period. 

If you need to return during the grace period, you may be able to return as a visitor in B-1/B-2 status or under ESTA.

Final Term Timelines

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Let us know if you will be graduating earlier than the program end date on your I-20 /DS-2019

We need to update your record and you need to be aware of deadlines.

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Need more time to complete your program?

Follow the instructions at Extending Your Current Program before your current I-20/DS-2019 expires.

Staying in the U.S.

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Extending: Starting a new academic program at Columbia

Extend your F-1 or J-1 status: 

and apply for a new I-20/DS-2019 for the new program before the end of your grace period. Follow the instructions at Beginning a New Program.

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Working in your field of study after graduation

Learn about getting employment authorization in your field of study 

F-1 Optional Practical Training ​​​​​​ 

J-1 Academic Training 

Inviting Friends & Family to Graduation

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Moving

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Clean Your Apartment

Clean your apartment, make arrangements for checkout and the return of your key money/security deposit.

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Notify Utilities & Pay Bills

Notify utility companies (gas & electric, cable, telephone) of your departure and try to pay bills in full before you leave.

Filing Tax Forms After You Leave

You can continue to use our tax preparation software as an alum. Check our tax pages in early March for information.

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Did you work in the past year?

If you worked in the past year, give your address to your department or payroll (and any other employers) to get the W-2 that you’ll need to file your tax return. We recommend you arrange for an electronic copy of the W-2.

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Did you receive a stipend or travel grant from Columbia?

If you received a stipend or travel grant from Columbia, give your address to the Human Resources Service Center to get the 1042-S form that you'll need to file your tax return.  There is no electronic version of the 1042-S.

Staying Connected to Columbia

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Join the Columbia Alumni Association

Join the Columbia Alumni Association for social and networking opportunities in NYC and around the world! 

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Request your official transcripts

Check the Registrar’s information for requesting official transcripts. It may be advantageous to get extras while you are still in the United States.

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Clear your account

Clear your student account and return library books so your diploma and transcripts can be released and you don’t accrue late fees.