Leaving KU

Immigration regulations require J-1 program sponsors to properly update the student’s SEVIS record whenever a student completes or decides to leave their J-1 program. If KU is your J-1 program sponsor, be sure to read the details that pertain to your specific situation below and follow the required procedures. As always, we encourage you to speak with an ISS immigration advisor if you have any questions. 

The following information ONLY applies to J-1 students whose DS-2019 is issued by KU (check item 2 “Program Sponsor” on your DS-2019). If your DS-2019 is not issued by KU, contact your program sponsor.

Withdraw from KU Before Finishing Program

If you plan to withdraw from KU before completing your program, you should meet with an ISS immigration advisor to obtain authorization for the withdrawal before you drop any courses.  Processing your request with an immigration advisor ensures you will have 30 days to leave the U.S.  If you are already outside the U.S. and decide not to return to resume your degree/program, you must still complete and be authorized for a withdrawal in order for your immigration record to remain in good standing.

Keep in mind:

  • You must leave the U.S. within 30 days of the authorization in your SEVIS record.
  • On-campus employment permission ends on the date of authorized withdrawal.
  • Do not drop classes before receiving authorization from an ISS immigration advisor.
  • If you are already outside the U.S., you must have the authorization for withdrawal approved prior to the 20th day of class in the fall or spring term for which you are not enrolling.
  • If you later decide to return to KU as a student, you will need to apply for re-admission through the appropriate admissions office, obtain a new DS-2019, and pay a new SEVIS fee to the U.S. government.

How to Request Early Withdrawal:

  • Log into iHawk and submit the “Withdrawing From KU” request under "J-1 Student Services" -> “Leaving KU”.
  • Upon submitting the e-form, you must visit the ISS office during walk-in hours to have your request reviewed and processed by an ISS immigration advisor.
Completing Program and Leaving the U.S.

J-1 regulations allow a 30-day grace period following the completion of your program at KU. If KU issued your DS-2019 and you finish earlier than the end date listed on your DS-2019, you must inform ISS AND KU. KU will generally consider the following dates as completion:

  • May 31 (for Spring completion)
  • August 1 (for Summer completion)
  • December 31 (for Fall completion)

Exceptions: Students in a program for less than one semester will have program specific end dates. Graduate, degree-seeking students may have completion dates within the first two weeks of a semester when enrollment is not required for an early defense.

The 30-day grace period is provided to allow preparations for departure from the U.S.


Keep in mind:

  • On-campus employment is not permitted after the program completion date (during the 30-day grace period).
  • Departure from the U.S. forfeits any remainder of your grace period.
  • If you later decide to return to the U.S. as a student, you will need to apply for admission and obtain a new DS-2019.

Complete the Exit Form:

  • Log into iHawk and submit the “Exit Information” form under "J-1 Student Services"  -> “Leaving KU”.  
Attend Another U.S. School (transfer SEVIS record)

If you decide to continue your studies in J-1 status at another SEVIS-approved school in the U.S., you must submit a request for an ISS immigration advisor to transfer your SEVIS record electronically to the new program sponsor.

How to request transfer of program sponsorship from KU to another sponsor:

  • Log into iHawk and submit a “Transfer Out” request under "J-1 Student Services" -> “Leaving KU”.
  • Visit the ISS office during walk-in hours to have your form reviewed and processed by an ISS immigration advisor.

Immigration Advising Hours

Virtual Drop-In Advising

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 1:30pm to 4:00pm. These virtual drop-in sessions are only for questions that will take 15 minutes or less.

>>Virtual Drop-in Request

Walk-In (In-person) Advising

Monday and Wednesday, 1:30pm to 4:00pm.

Schedule an Appointment

Call 785-864-3617 to set up an appointment for all processes (except a reduced course load with approval on an electronic I-20).


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