What are my F-1 and other immigration options after graduation? – TechCrunch


Here’s another edition of “Dear 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.”

“Dear Sophie” columns are accessible for Extra Crunch subscribers; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one or two-year subscription for 50% off.


Dear Sophie: I’m graduating this fall with a Bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology. I hope to find a way to maintain my F-1 status to graduate. After graduation, I’m planning on applying for OPT.  I really want to work at a biotech startup. What options do I have to remain in the U.S. after OPT ends?

—Bright-Eyed in Berkeley

Dear Bright-Eyed,

Stay the course — you’re almost at the finish line. Even with everything going on, if you can maintain your F-1 status for the last semester, you should still be able to get OPT and STEM OPT and possibly a green card. As you know, OPT enables international students on F-1 visas to work for 12 months in their field of study after completing at least one academic year of studies. Like you, most students choose to wait to begin OPT after graduation. Many companies are starting to take the pledge to support international students.



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