Leaving UNM

F-1 Students

Leaving UNM

If students are close to graduation and in their final semester at UNM, it is time to start thinking about options for future plans. International students have 60 days from the day they COMPLETE their studies to do one of the following:

  • Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) for one year of full-time work authorization in the U.S.following program completion, or
  • Leave the country, or
  • Apply for a change to another immigration status, or
  • Obtain a new I-20 from a new school or a new UNM program and begin attendance in that program in the next possible semester.

If a student plans to go back home within the 60-day grace period, they must log into their https://mygeo.unm.edu portal and complete the LEAVING UNM section (located at the bottom of the Personal Information section).

Once international students have completed their programs, GEO will no longer sign their I-20's for travel. This means that they should not plan any short trips to Mexico or anywhere outside the US after completing their program unless they have received OPT work authorization. Students may, however, return to their home country directly from the country they plan on visiting, or they may return to the US on a tourist visa. 

J-1 Students

International students here on a J-1 visa (DS-2019) may apply for Academic Training (AT) work authorization following their program of study, but must apply BEFORE their DS-2019 expires.To be eligible, a student will first need a job offer related to their major.Once they have a job offer, they must review the Academic Training handout and required forms and then call 277-4032 to schedule an appointment with an international advisor at GEO. 

If a J-1 student will NOT apply for Academic Training work authorization, they have 30 days from the day they COMPLETE their studies to do one of the following three things: 

  • Leave the country, or
  • Apply for a change to another immigration status, or
  • Obtain a new DS-2019 from a new school or a new UNM program and begin attendance in that program in the next possible semester.

NOTE: Please note that international students cannot work on campus after completion of their program unless they have received Academic Training authorization from GEO.The 30-day deadline is final and non-negotiable. The expiration date is listed on students' DS-2019. If a DS-2019 will expire this semester but a student plans to continue studying at UNM they must apply for an extension.

DS -2019's cannot be signed for travel once students have graduated unless they have applied for Academic Training.This means that they should not plan any short trips to Mexico or anywhere outside the US after completing their program unless they have either received AT work authorization, they will return to their home country directly from the country they plan on visiting, or they will return to the US on a tourist visa.