Ask Sophie: What are my options if a company rescinds my OPT job offer?

Here is another edit from “Ask Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at tech companies.

“Your questions are vital to the dissemination of knowledge that empowers people around the world to rise beyond borders and pursue their dreams,” says Silicon Valley immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn. “Whether you’re in people operations, a founder, or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d love to answer your questions in my next column.”

TechCrunch+ members get access to weekly “Ask Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one or two year subscription at 50% off.

Dear readers, I must first share my gratitude. A big THANK YOU to everyone who voted for me for the Disrupt Audience Choice Award: I’ll be speaking live from the stage at #Disrupt2023! I always like to meet you spontaneously, but now we can plan this. Get your tickets and get your ESTA or B-1/B-2 — I can’t wait to meet you!

Dear Sophia,

I’m an international student graduating this month, but the company I was supposed to start working for on OPT canceled my job offer.

What are my options?

— Graduate Grappling

Dear grappling hook,

First of all, congratulations on your upcoming graduation. I know things may seem daunting to you right now, but remember to celebrate your accomplishment and this milestone.

Many immigrants often find themselves in situations that require them to pivot quickly. You are not alone and there are resources to support you.

There might actually be silver linings here for you. As you explore your options, remember that often the most innovative and insightful ideas are born during difficult times.

Inform your DSO

If you have not already done so, you should inform your university’s Designated Academic Official (DSO) of your situation and ensure that your records are up to date. Federal regulations require that you notify your DSO within 10 days of any change in employment or personal information. DSOs are required to update information in the federal Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) within 21 days.

An important detail to keep in mind is that F-1 students in OPT (optional practical training) are only allowed to be unemployed for 90 days after graduation. Some of the details of your next steps may differ depending on whether you have already applied for and received your OPT work permit or not.

Now, let’s dive into some options!

A composite image of immigration lawyer Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Picture credits: Joanna Buniak


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