Program Completion, Extension or Withdrawal

Program Completion

College policy requires that students complete their program in a timely manner. Students on F and M visas must complete their program of study by the program end date in Section 5 of their I-20 form. If you have not completed your program of study by the end date, you will fall out of status. If you know before the program end date that you will not complete the program in time, you must request a program extension (see below).

Grace Period

Following completion of your program of study or of your authorized period of post-completion OPT, you will have a 60-day grace period. The grace period starts the day after the final date of your program of study or the final date of OPT. Before the end of the grace period, you must do one of the following:

- Leave the United States
- Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT)
- Transfer your SEVIS record to another institution to begin a new program of study
- Update your SEVIS record to begin a new program of study at Seattle Central

If you do not exercise one of the options above, your SEVIS record will automatically “complete”, and you will be out of status. Once a record is completed, your advisor can no longer make changes to the record, but can only advise you on options for regaining status (see the section on reinstatement under “Maintaing Status”)

If you plan to leave the United States before finishing your program, you will not have a 60-day grace period, but possibly only 15 days, or none at all. Contact the International Programs (IP) Office as soon as possible if you plan to leave before finishing your program.


If you must withdraw from your program due to unforeseen circumstances, contact the International Programs (IP) Office for guidance. You should plan to meet with your primary advisor, and, if you do withdraw, submit a Going Home Notice. If your withdrawal is due to a health issue, and you plan to remain in the United States, you should request medical leave for the quarter.

Extension of Program

It is possible to request an extension of your I-20 form if you need additional time to complete your program. Please complete a Change of Program / Major & Extension Request Form and submit it to the International Programs (IP) Office before the program end date on your I-20 form. F-1 visa regulations prohibit extension of a program if it is due to poor academic performance on the part of the student.