Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! Below are some commonly asked questions and information to help guide you through your last semester at Wellesley including important events, deadlines and immigration considerations.
1. Can I work off-campus after graduation?
Employment Authorization: OPT
If you are interested in working in the U.S. in your field of study after completing your academic program, you will need to apply for employment authorization.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) provides one year of employment authorization in your field of study. Your application must be submitted and arrive at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within 60 days of your program completion date , however, you are encouraged to apply much earlier. Due to slow processing times, we recommend applying approximately three months in advance.
For more information about eligibility requirements and how to apply, see F-1: Optional Practical Training (OPT)
. Interested students are required to sign up for an OPT Application Workshop at Slater International Center or online.
2. Can I continue working at my current on-campus job after graduation?
Your on-campus work eligibility ends at the completion of your academic program. While the college does allow some student workers to continue employment after graduation, this option does not apply to international students.
Exception: you may be able to continue working if you have been authorized for OPT depending on your EAC start state. Please speak with your International Student Advisor if you have any questions.
3. When do I have to leave Wellesley?
Wellesley College requires all graduating students to vacate their residence halls by Friday, May 30th at 8:00pm.
4. When do I have to leave the U.S.?
Grace Period and Travel
If you do not apply for OPT, you have a 60-day grace period after your completion of studies date to remain in the U.S. You may remain in the United States during the grace period to “prepare for departure”, to change to another visa status, or to transfer to another U.S. school. Students are not permitted to travel outside the United States and return in F-1 status during the grace period. Students are not permitted to work or study during the grace period.
5. What should I do if I plan to go to graduate school?
If you have been admitted to a new school in the U.S. you must contact your International Student & Scholar Adviser to coordinate the transfer of your SEVIS record
. This request must be made before the end of the 60-day grace period.
6. How can I invite my parents to my graduation?
As graduation approaches, you may want to invite your parents to celebrate commencement with you. Slater International Center can provide you with a Letter of Invitation for immediate family members to present at their visa interview.
Providing your family members with this documentation may improve their chances of obtaining a visa; however, there is no guarantee a visa will be issued. The success of their request for a visa lies in their ability to prove that they have no intention of staying permanently in the U.S. and that they have adequate funding available for their stay.
OPT Application Workshops
Between February and April we have 12 one hour OPT Application Assembly Workshops scheduled to guide you through the application process. These workshops are MANDATORY for all students applying for OPT. Please sign up online through our doodle poll.
A maximum of 6 students can attend each workshop.
Slater International Senior Reception, Thursday, 05/29/2014
Slater International Center, 6:00pm
Please join Slater International Center as we celebrate our graduating international students and their accomplishments. For Seniors & Guests. Drinks and appetizers will be served.
Commencement Friday, 5/30/2014
A full schedule of Commencement events is available online.
What else should I do before graduation?
Create a LinkedIn account and connect with Alumnae
We strongly encourage students to create a LinkedIn profile and join both the Wellesley LinkedIn Alumnae group and Slater International LinkedIn group. These groups will facilitate networking opportunities and allow for direct communication with alums.For more information and tips/training around LinkedIn, please visit the CWS website where you will find information regarding LinkedIn best practices and a number of valuable handouts.