For Graduating Seniors

International Student Seniors on Chapel Steps

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! Below are some commonly asked questions and helpful information to help guide you through your last semester at Wellesley including important events, deadlines, and important immigration considerations.

Wellesley will celebrate the Class of 2022 on Friday, May 27th, 2022 (Commencement Day) at 10:30am (EDT).

Can I work off-campus after graduation?

Employment Authorization: OPT

If you are interested in working in the U.S., within your field of study and after completing your academic program, you will need to apply for employment authorization.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows you one year of employment authorization in your major field of study. Your OPT application must be submitted and received by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within 60 days of your program completion date, however, you are encouraged to apply early (up to 120 days before graduation). Due to slow processing times, we recommend applying approximately three months in advance.

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 may not apply to international students.

Exception: You may be able to continue working, if you have been authorized for OPT depending on your major and your authorized employment start date on your Employment Authorization Document(EAD). Please speak with the International Student Advisor if you have any questions.

When do I have to leave Wellesley?

Wellesley College requires all graduating students to vacate their residence halls on Friday, June 5th, 2021

When do I have to leave the U.S.?

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. If you do not apply for OPT, you may remain in the United States up to 60 days after your completion date 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.

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 should be made before the end of the 60-day grace period.

How can I invite my parents to my graduation?

As graduation approaches, you may want to invite your parents to celebrate commencement with you. Please reference our handout, Inviting Family Members to Visit the U.S. in order to assist with the visa process. 

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.

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 Career Education website where you will find information regarding LinkedIn best practices and a number of valuable handouts.