Here is everything you need to remember when you finish your J1 program!
The J1 Program is perhaps one of the most interesting and educational periods in your early career. You may not want to see it come to an ending, but you will eventually have to move on to other things. When this time arrives, you will want to make sure that you know how to exit the J1 Program properly. Also, if for some reason, the need for adjustments arises, you should be prepared so as to make your transition as smooth and worry-free as possible.
Right after the J1 Program, you might want to do a bit of travelling instead of rushing right back home. You will be allowed to take some time to do so. You have a 30-day grace period after the end of your program to exit the United States. Make sure you maximize this time!
Do take note, however, that there are some situations in which the 30-day allowance will not be granted. For example, if the program sponsor sees fit to terminate your participation in the program for a valid reason, then this will be transmitted to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). You will then have to leave the United States immediately. The same would be true for a situation in which you initiate an early exit from the program. Since the program was not successfully completed, then you are not entitled to any grace period and must therefore make arrangements to return to your own country at the soonest possible time.
Whether you are exiting the J1 Program as someone who has successfully completed it or as a participant who has encountered some issues which have resulted in an early termination, being equipped with the right information can help make your transition as smooth as it can possibly be. Ending the program on a bad note might result on being “red flagged” and will affect any future trips to the United States.