Options for F-1 Students Who are Graduating or Whose I-20 is Expiring

If you are graduating or your I-20 is expiring, your F-1 visa status will also be ending. There are options available to you.

Options for F-1 students who are graduating

  1. Leave the United States no later than 60 days after graduation.

  2. Transfer to another school no later than 60 days after graduation. You must be admitted to the new school first, and then the transfer process must be coordinated between the two schools.

  3. Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). This is one-year of employment, in your field of study, after graduation. The time to apply is 3-4 months BEFORE graduation (Although legally you can apply up to 60 days after graduation, this is not advisable. It takes time for Durham Tech to process your new I-20 and for you to mail the application, so it is received before the deadline.) Please request a checklist of everything that must be done before a new I-20 can be issued for employment. The application requirements include payment of a substantial fee.

  4. Apply to another degree program at Durham Tech. If your I-20 is expiring, please see the options below.

Options for F-1 students whose I-20 is expiring

  1. Leave the United States immediately upon expiration.

  2. If you are not yet ready to graduate, you may request a one-year extension. A letter from your advisor indicating the reasons, and your expected date of graduation, will be required. Also, proof of additional financial support for the extra year is required.

Whatever option you choose, please keep in touch with International Student Services to let them know your plans through the Departure Form. If you will need a new I-20, please make an appointment in advance as this will take some time.

Appointments can be scheduled by calling 919-536-7264 ext. 3228 or emailing the staff: Heidi White, (PDSO), Director of International Student Services, whiteh@durhamtech.edu; or Gina Perryman, (DSO), International Student Services Advisor, perrymang@durhamtech.edu