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.
If you will be graduating earlier than the program end date on your I-20 or DS-2019...
We need to update your completion date in your SEVIS record and ISSO record and issue you a new I-20 or DS-2019. This will help you get timely information about deadlines to protect your immigration status.
You are allowed to be less than full-time in the final term of your degree program, but if we don't know it's your last term, your under-enrollment will be seen as a violation of your status. Please keep us informed!
Once you have completed your studies and any authorized post-graduation employment under F-1 or J-1 status, you have an additional grace period that allows you to remain in the U.S. to get ready to leave or to travel within the States.
If you are not applying for F-1 Optional Practical Training or J-1 Academic Training, you cannot leave and return to the U.S. in F or J status status during the grace period.
- If you need to leave and return during the grace period, you may be able to return as a visitor in B-1/B-2 status or under ESTA.
- 60 days for F-1
- 30 days for J-1
Tax forms after you leave Columbia
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.
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.
Other things to keep in mind