Completion of Degree
Students in F-1 status may be eligible to extend the end date in section #5 of their Form I-20 if they will be unable to complete their final degree requirement by the current date indicated. The end date in the #5 section must be in the future if a student has not yet completed his or her studies and is not completing those studies during post-completion OPT.
Extremely important: An application to request a program extension should be made with the staff of International Student, Scholar and Faculty Services (ISSFS) prior to the end date on the Form I-20. Program extensions are not granted after the Form I-20 has expired.
To apply for a program extension you must bring the following to the ISSFS during office hours:
- Extension of Time to Complete Program Form
- Proof of funding
- Proof of valid health insurance
If you will complete your final degree requirement before the "complete studies no later than" date in section #5 on Form I-20, please contact the ISSFS to obtain a new Form I-20 for your shortened program.
F-1 students may remain in the U.S. for 60 days following the completion of their degree (usually the end date in section #5 on Form I-20).
Individuals in F-1 status may also remain in the U.S. for 60 days following the expiration date of post-completion optional practical training (OPT) employment authorization. The 60-day grace period applies in its entirety even if it has been used on a previous occasion. In other words, if a student's OPT does not begin until 60 days after they complete their studies, that student is still eligible to utilize a 60-day grace period after completion of OPT.
During your grace period you may:
- transfer to another school.
- change degree levels at the University of Idaho (for example: bachelor's to master's).
- apply for a change of visa status.
- not apply for a program extension.
- not work.
If a student decides to withdraw from the university without completing their degree, they have 15 days in which to leave the U.S. The student must contact International Student, Scholar and Faculty Services and fill out the Withdrawing from U of I form.