Students should notify ISSS when they have completed their academic program at UNC-Chapel Hill by completing a Departure Notice.  The departure notice can be submitted online or a paper copy can be requested from the ISSS office.

Upon completion of studies, students must take one of the following actions before the end of the grace period:

1. Depart the U.S. More information on the grace period rules is below.

2. Apply for Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (F-1 students) or Academic Training (J-1 students must request authorization for post-completion Academic Training BEFORE program completion).

3. Transfer F-1 or J-1 status to continue their studies at another U.S. school. ISSS will need a copy of the admission letter and the completed Departure Notice before transferring a student’s SEVIS record to another school.

4. Change to another immigration status within the U.S. (J-1 students should consult ISSS before applying for a change of status because of the two year residency requirement).

Update to Program Completion Date in SEVIS

Upon completion of studies, a student’s SEVIS record will be updated to reflect the accurate completion date.  Students may not necessarily be issued a new Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 as a result of this change, but should be aware that the date on the original document is no longer valid.  Eligibility for on-campus employment ends as of the program completion date in SEVIS.

Completion of studies generally refers to the graduation date for undergraduate students. For graduate students completing a thesis or dissertation, the completion date will generally be the last day of the semester in which they defend the thesis or dissertation.

Grace Periods

After completion of studies, international students have a grace period during which they may remain in the U.S. in legal status.  For F-1 students the grace period is up to 60 days after the program completion date and for J-1 students the grace period is up to 30 days after the program completion date.