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J-1 After Completion of Program

AFTER COMPLETION OF PROGRAM OF STUDY

As a J-1 student, you have several options after completion of your program of study at WKU. 

Here are some of the options to consider as you finish your program of study:

  • Apply for Academic Training (AT) so you can work in the United States. Applications for AT can only be submitted to the International Student Office before your completion date. See the J-1 Employment section for more information.
  • Apply for a change of status. If you are not subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement, you are eligible to apply to change your non-immigrant status. USCIS must receive the application before the end of your 30-day grace period. You can find out if you are subject to this requirement by looking at your J-1 visa.
  • Transfer to a new school. You must submit a SEVIS Transfer Out Request via iStart. You will need to submit a copy of the admission letter to the new school on iStart and have the transfer out request approved by the International Student Office before the end of the 30-day grace period. Your new school must provide you with a new DS-2019 within 30 days of the date your program is officially transferred to the new school.  
  • Start a new program of study at WKU. You must be fully admitted and have received a new DS-2019 from International Enrollment Management before the end of the 30-day grace period. Updated financial documentation will be required. You can find out more about applying for a new degree program by going to our international admissions page.
  • Leave the United States before the end of the grace period

Program Completion and Your J-1 Status

If you are an undergraduate student, your completion date will be the last day of the term in which you complete your degree requirements, usually the last day of final exams, regardless of the date you actually participate in graduation ceremonies.

If you are a graduate student writing a thesis or dissertation, your completion date will be the date that you submit the final draft of your thesis or dissertation (provided that you have been making normal progress toward your degree completion).

Please note that your eligibility to work on campus ends upon completion of your program of study.

Your Post-Completion Grace Period

Federal regulations provide a 30-day grace period that starts the day you complete your program of study. The grace period ends 30 days after you complete the program, regardless of the expiration date on your DS-2019.

If by the end of the grace period, you have not made other plans, you must depart the country.

Travel After Completing your Program

If you plan to travel outside of the United States during your grace period, the International Student Office cannot sign your DS-2019 for travel. You will NOT be able to re-enter the United States as an J-1 student, because you have completed your program.

You may be able to re-enter the United States as a tourist.See an advisor during walk-in advising hours to discuss your plans before your travel.

Dependent Status after Completing Your Program

If you have J-2 dependents with you in the United States, their status is dependent upon yours. If you choose to leave the country after you complete your program of study, your family members may not legally stay in the United States without you if they are in J-2 status.

 

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 Last Modified 1/24/17