Departure from U.S. for F-1 Students

The University is required to notify SEVIS when a student is no longer enrolled at the institution. SEVIS requires a reason any time a student’s record is terminated, and it is important that we provide the correct reason (for example, departed the U.S. or changed status).

This stated reason will be a permanent part of the record, and it may have an effect on a student’s future eligibility to enter the U.S. DHS regulations state that an absence from the U.S. of 5 months or longer constitutes a permanent departure, even if the student has maintained enrollment. Please inform ISSS of your situation as it pertains to your permanent departure from the University of Minnesota.

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Withdrawal from Program

  • You should consult with an ISSS advisor before canceling your classes if you decide to permanently withdraw from your program of study. Regulations require that a student obtain prior approval from ISSS before withdrawing. With this approval, you will be considered legally present in the U.S. for a period of 15 days from the date of withdrawal. This will also ensure ISSS reports the correct reason for terminating your SEVIS record.
  • If you will wish to return to resume the same program of study in the future, you may be able to arrange a Leave of Absence with your college.
  • You will not longer be able to use your I-20 to enter the U.S. after you permanently withdraw from your program. You will need to request a new I-20 from ISSS if decide to resume your program of study at a later date.

Suspension from Program

  • If you are suspended from your program, your suspension will be electronically be reported to SEVIS.
  • If this occurs, your I-20 will be cancelled, and you will not be able to use it to renter the U.S.
  • You should consult with an ISSS advisor regarding your options if you are in danger or have been suspended. We will have a greater chance of being able to help you if you contact us as soon as you realize you are in danger of being suspended.

Completion of a Program of Study

  • You are required to notify ISSS both of your completion date and the date you depart the U.S. You can report this information by emailing ISSS or contacting ISSS and asking to speak with an advisor. This ensures that your departure from the U.S. will be properly recorded on their SEVIS record.
  • Students have a 60-day grace period in which to depart the U.S. after completing their program of study.

Transfer to a New School

  • ISSS must electronically transfer your SEVIS record to the new school before the new school can create an I-20.
  • To begin this process, you should consult with an ISSS advisor regarding your intent to transfer and to determine a SEVIS “transfer release date”.
  • If you have applications pending at multiple schools, you should not request a SEVIS transfer until you decide which school you will attend.

Change in Visa Status

  • You should contact ISSS immediately if you wish to change your visa status (to H-1B, F-2, J-1, Permanent Resident, etc.) and may or may not continue your program of study. ISSS will ask for a faxed copy of the new status.
  • ISSS will terminate your SEVIS record based on the change in status.

Grace Period

F-1 visa students are allowed to stay in the U.S. for a certain period of time after completing or discontinuing their program of study. This time period is referred to as a "grace period", and students must depart the U.S. by the end of this period.

  • 60-Day Grace Period: DHS regulations automatically provide a 60-day grace period for F-1 students who complete a program of study. The 60-day grace period us calculated from the date of completion. Students who have been authorized for post-completion Optional Practical Training have a 60-day grace period beginning on the date their Optional Practical Training expires. 
  • 15-Day Grace Period: Students who elect to discontinue their program of study are not eligible for a 60-day grace period. Prior approval at ISSS is required before a student cancels classes or discontinues the program at the end of a term. If you obtain prior approval from ISSS, you will have a 15-day grace period in which to depart the U.S. We strongly encourage you to contact ISSS to obtain this 15-day grace period so that you will not have problems if you wish  to re-enter the U.S. at a later time.
Last updated: June 14, 2021