There are several options for international students following graduation. Review the following ahead of time and be prepared to move forward!
Post-Completion Optional Practical Training
Standard Post-Completion Optional Practical Training, or OPT, is off-campus work authorized for your field of study. If granted, students are authorized to work fulltime (40 hours per week) for a maximum of 12 months. An aggregate of 90 days of unemployment is allowed during the 12 months of OPT. OPT authorization granted by USCIS cannot be changed, voided, or canceled.
Note: Regulations allow for an extension of OPT for an additional 24 months only for those students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. Contact the DSO in the Registrar’s Office for additional information.
Continuing at the University of Montevallo for a Subsequent or Higher Degree
Students who desire to continue on at UM must apply and be accepted by graduate or undergraduate admissions within 60 days following graduation. A copy of the admission letter and new financial affidavit showing proof of ability to pay for the next year of school are required. The DSO will print an updated I-20 indicating the new program and/or degree level. Students will not be required to pay the SEVIS fee again. However, if the application process does not take place within the 60-day timeframe, then the student is required to leave the United States. Returning to UM at this point will require a new I-20 form and paying the SEVIS fee again.
Transferring to Another School
To transfer your SEVIS record to another school, students must provide the DSO with a copy of the acceptance letter from the transfer school, the transfer school’s SEVIS code, and the contact information of the DSO or PDSO at the transfer school. A student’s SEVIS record can be transferred up to 60 days after graduation. After 60 days the student will be required to leave the U.S., and then must obtain a new I-20 form from the new school and pay the SEVIS fee again.
Graduation and Commencement
All students must formally apply for graduation. Please refer to Graduation webpage for additional information.
60-Day Grace Period After Graduation and Travel
Students who have applied for Post-Completion OPT and have in their possession an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (or the EAD receipt notice) for post-completion OPT and either a job or a formal job offer should not experience difficulty reentering the U.S. However, if either of these two conditions have not been met, then the student may be unable to reenter the country.
Students who have not applied for Post-Completion OPT will have 60 days for travel within the U.S. and for preparation to exit the country. When a student completes his or her studies and leaves the U.S., he or she will not be eligible to reenter the country without obtaining a new visa.
On Campus Employment
International students are not allowed to work on campus after the final day of their last semester.