We hope everyone has had a great Spring semester! Below are some important immigration reminders for F-1 students who are graduating and who are will continue to enroll next semester. Please be sure to read the following information carefully.
If you have any questions or concerns about your particular situation, CIE advisors are available without an appointment Monday–Friday, 1-4 pm. When you come to CIE remember to notify the receptionist before heading upstairs for advising!
If you are graduating… Congratulations!
Program Completion Date and Grace Period
If you are a graduating F-1 student, your official program completion date for the Spring semester is May 13, 2017. This is the completion date even if you are meeting a second Spring thesis/dissertation deadline. You must end all on-campus employment by May 13, 2017.
Your 60-day grace period begins on May 14. If you have applied for Optional Practical Training (OPT), your program completion date may even be sooner (check your OPT I-20).
The 60-day grace period is intended for you to prepare to leave the U.S. Unless you transfer to a different university or program, to a different immigration status or file for OPT, you must leave the U.S. by the end of your grace period.
You may travel inside the U.S. during your grace period but you may not leave the country and return in F-1 status. OPT and transfer situations are exceptions and we discuss those individually during the OPT or transfer process.
If you are returning to UTK in the Summer or Fall…
Change of Address
If you are moving/have moved inside the U.S., or if your permanent (home country) address has changed, please make sure you submit your change of address to CIE so that your SEVIS record is updated. The online form is on our forms’ page.
You should also update your address on file with the University of Tennessee through MyUTK.
If you are a continuing student and plan to travel abroad this summer, please be sure to check your immigration documents. If you need a travel signature on your I-20, be sure to request one from CIE at least two weeks in advance. Travel signatures are normally valid for 12 months. For graduates with OPT, signatures are valid for 6 months. If traveling inside the U.S., please be sure to take your passport and current I-20 with you.
If you are traveling abroad, upon your return, CIE strongly recommends that you print out a copy of your electronic I-94 to ensure that your data in the CBP database is accurate. You can search for your I-94 here or simply do an online search for “I-94” in your browser.
You can read more about travel on our website.
Good luck on finals and have a wonderful break!