The following is a checklist of items to consider when leaving NIH due to termination, resignation or completion of award or appointment. It is not an exhaustive list. There may be other items you need to complete before leaving NIH. An overview of the cirumstances requiring a Visiting Proram Separation/Termination Notice can be found in the Poster Gallery.
DIS notifies appropriate Federal Agencies of your departure from NIH. For J-1 Exchange Visitors, DIS will update their last day at NIH in the Student and Exchange Visitors Information System (SEVIS). The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is notified by DIS of the termination date of H-1/O-1/TN employment.
Avoid Unlawful presence
Unlawful presence is the term used when you overstay your authorized time in the U.S. If you accrue more than 180 days of unlawful presence, you will be barred from reentering the U.S. for three (3) years. If you accrue one (1) consecutive year or more of unlawful presence, you will be barred from reentering the U.S. for ten (10) years. In addition, you will no longer be eligible to apply or obtain a nonimmigrant visa in a country other than your home country.
To avoid unlawful presence or a violation of immigration rules, you must depart the U.S. on or before your last lawful day:
J-1 – 30 days from expiration date of DS-2019 or end of program, whichever is earlier
H-1 – depart by end date of I-94 or after end of employment, whichever is earlier
O-1 – depart by end date of I-94 or after end of employment, whichever is earlier
TN – depart by end date of I-94 or after end of employment, whichever is earlier
F-1 – 60 days after end of I-20 or end of program of studies or OPT, whichever is earlier
You are considered to be lawfully in the U.S. after your end of program if you have filed a non-frivolous petition with USCIS to extend your stay, change your status or adjust your status before expiration of your lawful stay.
USCIS issued revised final guidance on unlawful presence for students and exchange visitors. The current policy is available here:
Do not use NIH immigration documents to return to the U.S. if you are no longer in an authorized program; that is, you are no longer sponsored by the NIH, such as a J-1 Exchange Visitor or H-1B employee