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February 4, 2021

Hello all,

We hope that your semester is off to a good start!

Our student records indicate that you are expected to complete your degree program this semester. We wanted to reach out to you as early in the semester as possible to let you know about program completion logistics, your grace period, and applying for OPT.

Following your degree completion date, you will have a grace period of 60 days to remain in the US to either prepare for departure, apply for OPT, apply for an I-20 to begin a new degree program, or apply for a change to another immigration status. Your degree completion date is based on the end date of the semester, regardless of whether there is a different program end date on your I-20 or the date of commencement.

This year, the end date will be May 14, 2021, the final day of the Spring 2021 semester. Following the program end date of May 14, you will have a 60-day grace period which lasts until July 12, 2021.

Please be aware that you would need to plan to make arrangements to either depart the US or apply for one of these benefits before the end of your grace period. If you will not be completing your degree this semester and need additional time to complete your degree requirements, please be sure to contact our office as soon as possible, as you will need to extend your I-20 before May 14.

If you are planning to apply for OPT, please be sure to check out our OPT website for details about the application process, and plan to attend an Information Session if you have not already. You are eligible to apply for OPT starting from 90 days before your degree completion date of May 14, which means you are eligible to apply starting from February 14, 2021. As processing times at USCIS can be lengthy and unpredictable, we recommend to apply as early as possible. You are welcome to submit your OPT application materials on our Portal (link on our OPT website) prior to February 14 if they are ready, however, please be aware that we will not be able to start issuing OPT recommendation I-20s until Tuesday, February 16.

If you have any questions about your options or your grace period specifics, please send us a message at

Very best,
Tufts International Center