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Graduation

Congratulations! You are getting ready to graduate! Here are some topics to help you prepare for graduation. 
 
Click on the appropriate link to find out how to apply for graduation.

Undergraduate Graduation Planning: Graduation planning is here.

Master’s Graduation Planning: Graduation planning is here.

Doctoral Graduation Planning: Graduation planning is here.

Ceremony Information: Find the information about the graduation ceremony here.

Inviting Family: If you are planning to invite family and need a letter from our office for their visa interviews please drop by Garland 138 during office hours.
International students who will be participating in the UWM Commencement Ceremony may order a graduation sash with their home country’s flag. Orders will be accepted for a limited time each semester through a sign up request, which will be available below. Students who have applied for graduation will receive an email with the sash order dates and instructions. Sashes will be presented to students at the International Student End of Year Celebration and Graduation Party. The party will be advertised through email. 


**Due to the pandemic, spring 2021 graduates cannot order a graduation sash through the sign-up below. An e-mail was sent with instructions on ordering. Please email isss@uwm.edu with any questions.**

As you prepare for your last semester of enrollment before graduation you may be eligible for less than full time enrollment and you may apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). 

Your advisor must authorize less than full-time enrollment for your final semester.



You can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) 90 days prior to graduation. Please attend an OPT information session.



If you realize that you will not be able to finish AND your I-20 program end date is coming up, you can submit a Request for Extension. You will also need to submit Proof of Funding for the duration of the extension.

Once you have completed your academic program at UWM, you have a 60-day grace period in which you must do one the following:

Start a new program at UWM: You may continue your education at UWM by starting a new degree program. You must be issued your new I-20 from UWM within your 60-day grace period. The following link provides information on UWM's program offerings: UWM Academic Programs.

Transfer your SEVIS record: You may continue your education at another school. Your SEVIS record must be transferred to your new institution within your 60-day grace period AND prior to leaving the US, whichever comes first. You must submit the F-1 SEVIS Transfer Out form for UWM to release your SEVIS record to your new institution. Once UWM has completed the transfer, you must contact your new school to discuss issuance of a new I-20.



Apply for OPT: While we suggest that you apply for OPT 90 days prior to graduation, USCIS can receive your application up to 60 days after degree completion. The application packet must be received at USCIS before the 60th day after graduation AND prior to leaving the country. Step one in your OPT application is to request an OPT-Recommended I-20 by submitting the request in ISSS Connect. Follow the button below to begin your OPT-Recommended I-20 request.



Leave the US: You can use your 60-day grace period to settle your affairs and leave the US. Your SEVIS Record may be completed as soon as you leave. Keep in mind that you will not be able to transfer your SEVIS record or apply for OPT after you leave the US.

Change to another legal immigration status: During your 60-day grace period if you change to a different legal immigration status, we ask that you email isss@uwm.edu so that we can update your UWM records. If you have questions about different status options or how to request a change, we suggest you speak with an Immigration Attorney.