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The Grace Periods for F-1 Students and J-1 Exchange Visitors

Hi William:

I am an  
J-1 Exchange Visitor. I will finish my research program within one month. What is the Grace Period do I have for me to stay in the United States for additional time?


The misunderstanding for "grace period" is common. A common misconception is that a grace period will allow alien students or visiting scholars to remain in U.S. after their education or after the denial of their immigration petitions. But in most situations, the grace period is very limited after their education to stay in United States, or even there is no such legal grace period after denial of their immigration petitions.

By definition, the grace period in the context of visa or immigration is a continuation of valid nonimmigrant status in the United States. For most cases, the term of grace period is used to refer to the continuation of F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor status after the completion of the F-1 or J-1 study/research in the United States. Therefore, the alien students or visiting scholars who are present in a proper grace period are considered to be in a lawful nonimmigrant status in U.S.

For an international student, a
"grace period" of 60 days of valid F-1 student status is added upon the completion of the F-1 study or F-1 post-completion practical training (OPT). During the 60 days grace period, a F-1 student may change status, transfer to a different study program, or prepare for departure from the United States to their home countries. For J-1 exchange visitors, there are generally 30 days of "grace period", following the completion of their J-1 programs or research.

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