Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! There are a lot of things to think about and to do as you finish up the last semester 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. You may not engage in any form of employment during your grace period
F-1 Grace Period: 60 Days*
*Does not apply while your OPT application is pending with USCIS. You may remain in the US for as long as it takes USCIS to adjudicate your request. You will have a 60-day grace period after your authorized OPT expires.
J-1 Grace Period: 30 Days*
*Does not apply if you have applied for J-1 Academic Training. You will have 30 days after your Academic Training expires to prepare for departure.
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
We need to update your record and you need to be aware of deadlines.
Follow the instructions at Extending Your Current Program before your current I-20/DS-2019 expires.
Staying in the U.S.
Extend your F-1 or J-1 status by applying 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.
Everything you need to know in one place!
Don't forget to clean and have your mail forwarded!
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.
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. Check this list of Year End Tax Reporting Documents to see if there is anything else to follow up on.
Staying Connected to Columbia
Join the Columbia Alumni Association for social and networking opportunities in NYC and around the world!
It may be advantageous to get extras while you are still in the United States.
Alumni enjoy free lifetime access. Learn more at library.columbia.edu/alumni.
Clear your student account and return library books so your diploma and transcripts can be released and you don’t accrue late fees.