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Separations and Early Departures

If a Faculty/Scholar is ending their appointment at UCSD early, their visa status must be shortened accordingly. This can be done by updating the scholar's program end date to the date their appointment is ending.

If they are ending their appointment at UCSD as planned, on the same end date noted on their DS-2019 or USCIS approval notice, then no action is needed. Their records will automatically close out in this case.

When shortening a program, please also make sure to update the scholar's appointment in the relevant database (RSAS, VGS, UCPath, etc.).

Submitting an Early Departure can be done through the ISD database, please see steps below.

Step 1: Confirm the Scholar No Longer Requires UCSD Visa Sponsorship


Submitting a Separation/Early Departure will end UCSD's sponsorship of the Faculty/Scholar's visa status on that new end date. If they are not transferring their visa status to another institution or changing to a different status or permanent residency, they will have to depart the U.S. The scholar should be aware of information on the J-1 grace period or H-1B grace period. If you shorten the program to a new end date that is in the future and the scholar or department then change plans, please make sure to notify IFSO immediately.


Please be careful when submitting a J-1 early departure request and make sure the scholar is actually ending their J-1 status. They will have a 30-day grace period in which to depart the U.S. or change to a different visa status. A J-1 program should NOT be shortened in the following situations: 

  • The scholar is  moving to a different department at UCSD. Instead, a J-1 Amendment should be submitted.
  • The scholar is doing a Leave of Absence and intends to return to the same J-1 program. Instead, a Leave of Absence request should be submitted.
  • The scholar is transferring their J-1 record to a different institution. Instead, an IFSO advisor needs to coordinate that transfer and will update the scholar's J-1 program dates.
  • The scholar is changing to H-1B status at UCSD. IFSO staff will update the J-1 program dates when working on the H-1B.



If an H-1B employee is ending their employment at UCSD earlier than the end date of their H-1B approval notice, their H-1B petition must be withdrawn. This can be done by updating the H-1B employee's end date in ISD to the date their employment is ending and uploading required documents. Please be careful when submitting an H-1B early departure. An H-1B program should NOT be shortened in the following situations:

  • The scholar is moving to a different department or appointment title at UCSD. Instead, an H-1B Amendment should be submitted.
  • The scholar is doing a Leave of Absence and intends to remain an employee of UCSD.

Finally, if the department initiated an H-1B employee's separation from employment, the department must offer to cover the reasonable cost of return transportation to the employee's home country (this does not include dependents); see Early Termination Memo

Step 2: Update Program End Date

  • In the scholar's ISD record, go to the Appointment section.
  • Update the End Date to the date the scholar is being separated from UC San Diego. 
  • Scroll to the bottom and click Save.

Step 3: Add a Note

Please go to the Notes section of ISD and write a short note stating why the scholar is departing their program early. If known, please also add the date the scholar will be departing the U.S. within their grace period.

When IFSO staff update the end date in the SEVIS database (J-1) or notify the Department of Labor (H-1B), we are required to give a reason.

Common reasons:
  • Program objectives completed early
  • Scholar transferring to another institution
  • Scholar accepted a position outside UC San Diego
  • Inadequate financial support
  • Medical emergency and/or health of exchange visitor
  • Medical emergency and/or health of exchange visitor’s family
  • Cultural shock and/or homesickness

Step 4: Upload Documentation

While IFSO staff and the department are able to see all documents uploaded in ISD, the scholar can only view their own uploaded documents. They will not be able to view documents that you have uploaded into ISD as the department contact. Please be aware of this as you work with your scholar to prepare and update requests.

Go to the Documents Section and upload a document that confirms the end of the appointment.

Examples can include a letter of resignation or an email from the scholar confirming their departure. 

For H-1Bs only:
  • Scholar initiated: can be resignation letter or email confirming their separation. Doesn't have to be in any particular format as long as IFSO can see the separation date and who initiated the separation.
    • Examples of scholar initiated:
      • Scholar is leaving the U.S.
      • Scholar accepted a new position with another employer.
  • Department initiatedIf the department initiated an H-1B employee's separation from employment, the department must offer to cover the reasonable cost of return transportation to the employee's home country (this does not include dependents). You must complete and upload the Early Termination Memo
    • Examples of department initiated:
      • Postdoc appointment ended and department decided not to extend the postdoc appointment, however the H-1B is still valid until a date in the future.
      • Department does not have funding and has to end the appointment and H-1B early.
      • Scholar finished project they were hired to work on, there is no more work for the scholar, and H-1B is still valid until a date in the future.

Step 5: Submit Early Departure to IFSO

Go to the Tasks tab, Select Review and Submit Visitor's Information.

After all required fields are completed, select:

  • Profile Status: SEVIS - Active (J-1) or Active (H-1B/TN/E-3)
  • Profile Type: Current status with UC San Diego 
    • J-1 Exchange Visitor
    • H-1B Temporary Specialty Worker (or E-3 Treaty Professional or TN Treaty NAFTA)
  • Profile Subtype: Scholar
  • Profile Subtype If Other: leave blank

Click Submit button toward the left-hand top of the screen. This action forwards the complete record to IFSO staff to review.

After the request is submitted, it should show that the record was “sent to ISSM.” You can also see when a request was submitted to IFSO by going to the history tab, this will show as a line item event that says Data Submission by Department with description Department submitted information to the international office.

The new end date will be sent to IFSO staff. IFSO staff will contact you and/or the scholar if there are any questions.
  • J-1 program will be shortened in the SEVIS database. 
  • H-1B petition will be withdrawn on the new end date.

Note: Upon submission, you and the scholar will receive an email confirming the date of completion/separation along with helpful resources about traveling and filing taxes.


Other reasons that could lead to program completion that are not separations/early departures.

J-1 Scholar Outside Country Decided Not to Come

If a J-1 scholar was issued a DS-2019 but, before they entered the U.S., decided not to participate in the J-1 program, IFSO staff should cancel their J-1 record. Please contact the IFSO Advisor (or and provide the scholar's name. IFSO staff will cancel the record and make the appropriate changes to the ISD record.

Please confirm that the scholar has no intention of coming to UCSD at a later date. J-1 program dates can be amended with the J-1 record remaining active. Cancelling the record will mean a new J-1 record and DS-2019 will have to be issued (with fees) if the scholar decides to come at a later time.

Scholar Changed to Permanent Residency

If the scholar changed status and is now a Permanent Resident, please follow our Scholar Changed to Permanent Residency status instructions.