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After Completion of Program of Study

As an F-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 Optional Practical Training (OPT) so you can work in the United States. Applications for OPT can be submitted up to 90 days before your program end date and must be received by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) no later than 60 days after the completion of your program of study.
  • Start a new program of study at WKU. You must be fully admitted and have received a new I-20 from International Enrollment Management before the end of the 60-day grace period. Updated financial documentation will be required.

Learn more

  • Transfer to a new school. You must submit a Transfer Out Request of your SEVIS record 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 60-day grace period after completion of your program.
  • Apply for a change of status if applicable. USCIS must receive the application before the end of the 60-day grace period.
  • Leave the United States before the end of the 60-day grace period.

The completion date or program end date of your program will be the date in which all program and degree requirements are fulfilled, regardless of the date you actually graduate or walk at graduation.

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

Federal regulations provide a 60-day grace period that starts the day you complete your program of study. The grace period ends 60 days after you complete the program, regardless of the expiration date on your I-20.

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

If you plan to travel outside of the United States during your grace period, the International Student Office cannot sign your I-20 for travel.  Since you have completed your program of study you will NOT be able to re-enter the United States as an F-1 student.

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

If you have F-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 F-2 status. If for example, your stay is extended with OPT approval, the status of your dependents is extended as well.

iStart Icon

Applying for a Visa                                               


Curricular Practical Training (CPT)                    

On-Campus Employment                                   

Optional Practical Training (OPT)                      

OPT STEM Extension                                           

Full-Time Enrollment                                           

Full-Time Enrollment Exceptions                       

Complete Withdrawal and Leaves of Absence

Maintaining Status                                               

SEVIS Violations                                                    

Dependents of F-1 Students                               

After Completion of Program                             

I-20 Extensions                                                      

Local Address                                                         

SEVIS Fee                                                                 

F-1 SEVIS Transfer from WKU                              

Travel Outside of the U.S.                                    

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 Last Modified 3/25/21