International student advisors are often asked what the immigration requirements are if a student will no longer be continuing at his or her current school, either because the student is returning to his/her home country, or is beginning Practical Training, or because the student is going to begin study at a new school.

Regardless of your plans, retain your old I-20s (or IAP-66s)! These forms represent your immigration history in the United States and should be kept in a safe place as you would any important document. In addition, be sure to let your current school's international student office know that you are leaving.

The U.S. Immigration Service process for transferring your F-1 status from your current school to a new school is the responsibility of the new school's International Student Office. Therefore, it's important that you follow your new school's instructions for reporting to the International Student Office at the beginning of your semester there.

Students who will be ending their studies in May but have no plans to apply for practical training (F-1), academic training (J-1) or continue at a new school or in a new field or level of study, or seek a change of non-immigrant status must depart the United States within sixty days of completion of their academic program if they are in F-1 status, or within thirty days if they are in J-1 status.