Program Completion

Congratulations on completing your program!

You may not work on campus after completing your program. Even if your I-20 or DS-2019 shows a future date, your SEVIS record will be updated to reflect your program completion. Any on campus work after that date would be considered a violation of your immigration status.

There is a 60-day window for F-1 students and 30-day window for J-1 students following your program called the “grace period.” During the grace period, you can:

  • Prepare to leave the country
  • Transfer to another U.S. institution
  • Start a new degree program at Bradley University
  • Apply for OPT work authorization (F-1 students only)
  • Change visa status (if eligible)
  • Travel within the U.S. (do not travel outside of the U.S., as students cannot re-enter the U.S. as a F-1/J-1 student during the grace period)

For students preparing to return to their home country, some items you will want to take care of at Bradley University are:

J-1 Student Home Residency Requirement

Your visa and DS-2019 form will indicate whether or not you are subject to the 212(e) Two-year Home Country Residence Requirement. J-1 exchange visitors are usually subject to 212(e) if they receive government funding to attend their program, or their home government wishes to ensure they return home to share the skills they have learned abroad.

If you are subject to 212(e), you must return to your home country and be physically present there for two years before being able to return to the U.S. on employment-based visas, permanent residency (a green card), or apply for U.S. citizenship.

If you are unsure whether or not you are subject to the 212(e) Two-year Home Country Residence Requirement, check both your visa and DS-2019. They should match and tell you whether or not you are subject. 

J-1 Student 12-Month Bar

The 12-Month Bar is a law that applies to people who have been, or will be, J-1 Researchers or Professors. The bar states that if you were a J-1 exchange visitor at some point within the last 12-months, you cannot come to the U.S. as a J-1 researcher or professor. (The bar also applies to J-2 dependents.) 

You are eligible for researcher or professor status only IF you have not been physically present in the U.S. as a nonimmigrant for part of the 12-month period immediately preceding the start date of the new program, unless your program in the U.S. was less than 6 months long.