Grace periods are periods of time that are given to you in order to take care of certain events, such as transferring between schools, changing your status, starting a new program after OPT or departing the U.S. Not being mindful of these grace periods could cause you to fall out of status. (See maintaining status and reinstatement).
Students cannot travel internationally (including cruises) and re-enter in F-1 status during their grace period. If you have questions about travel during your grace period see an ISSS advisor.
After completing your program of study:
If you are an F-1 student and have completed your program of study, you have 60 days to leave the United States, apply for change of status, or transfer to another school. Note that this does NOT apply if you do not complete your program; if you leave without graduating, you do not receive a grace period.
After withdrawing from classes:
If you are an F-1 student and have withdrawn from classes after receiving authorization from ISSS, you have 15 days to leave the U.S.
If you have withdrawn from classes without previous authorization from ISSS, you have no grace period and must leave the U.S. immediately.
After your F-1 OPT expires, you have 60 days to leave the United States, apply for a change of status, or transfer to another school.
If you are transferring from Georgia State to another school after OPT, or after you complete your program of study, you need to request that your SEVIS record be transferred to your new school. This transfer must happen within 60 days after the program completion date (end of your last semester) or after your OPT expires. Please note that you are not required to start your new program within that 60-day-grace period, but you must start it within 5 months from the end of the semester or the date your record was transferred, whichever is earlier.
If you request your transfer in the middle of the semester, you have no grace period and you need to start studying at your new school immediately.