Tips and Reminders for International Graduates

May 19, 2021
By International Student and Scholar Services

Class of 2021 graduates, congratulations on your graduation! Here are a few tips and reminders as you begin the next chapter of your journey, whether in the United States or elsewhere.

Depart the U.S. on Time

If you are leaving the U.S., F-1 status permits a grace period of 60 days to allow you to prepare for your departure; J-1 students have a 30-day grace period. You cannot work during the grace period.

Apply for OPT (or Academic Training)

It's not too late to apply for OPT! Students with May 17 I-20 end dates have until July 16, 2021 to apply. Please see our OPT information pages. J-1 students may be eligible to apply for J-1 Academic Training (AT). See more information about this option on our website.

Be Mindful of Your OPT Reporting Requirements

If you will be working on OPT after graduation, please be sure to follow the OPT reporting requirements. All changes in your OPT employment or contact information should be reported to ISSS within 10 days.

Submit a Transfer-Out Request

If you plan to enroll at another U.S. college or university, you should apply to transfer your SEVIS record to the new institution within 60 days of the completion of your program at Penn (F-1 students). J-1 students must apply to transfer to the new institution before the last day attended at Penn. See more information about the transfer-out process.

Stay in Touch!

Most importantly, remember that ISSS and Penn are still here to support you! If you are on OPT, Penn is still the sponsor of your visa and you should continue to contact your assigned ISSS advisor for questions related to your immigration status.

Even if you are leaving the U.S., enrolling in another university, or transitioning to a non-student immigration status, be sure to reach out if you need help or would like to connect. Take advantage of Penn Career Services' resources for alumni. Fill out your profile on myPenn to begin networking with alumni from your region or field of interest.