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.
F-1 Grace Period: 60 Days*
*does not apply while waiting for USCIS to process OPT request
J-1 Grace Period: 30 Days
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.
Clean your apartment, make arrangements for checkout and the return of your key money/security deposit.
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.
If you received a fellowship/scholarship stipend or travel grant from Columbia, contact the Human Resources Service Center to learn how to access an electronic version of the 1042-S form that you'll need to file your tax return.
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.