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


Here’s another edition of “Ask Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people all over the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re in people ops, a founder or seeking a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”

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

Dear Readers: I first must 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 love getting to meet you spontaneously, but now we can plan for it. Get your tickets and get your ESTA or B-1/B-2 – I can’t wait to meet you!

Dear Sophie,

I’m an international student graduating this month, but the company I was supposed to start working for on OPT has rescinded my job offer.

What are my options?

— Grappling Grad

Dear Grappling,

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

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

There actually might be some silver linings here for you. As you explore your options, remember that oftentimes the most innovative and insightful ideas have been born during challenging times.

Notify your DSO

If you haven’t already, you should notify the Designated School Official (DSO) at your university about your situation and make sure your records get updated. Federal regulations require you to notify your DSO within 10 days of any employment or personal information changes. DSOs are required to update the information in the federal Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) system within 21 days.

One important detail to keep in mind is that F-1 students on OPT (Optional Practical Training) are only allowed to be unemployed for 90 days after they graduate. Some of the details of your next steps may differ depending on whether you already have applied for and received your OPT work permit yet.

Now, let’s dive into some options!

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

Image Credits: Joanna Buniak

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