Dear Sophie! What are my F-1 OPT options if my crypto work is no longer available?

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Here is another edition “Dear Sophie”, an advice column answering immigration questions about working in tech companies.

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“Your questions are vital to spreading the knowledge that enables people around the world to rise above boundaries and achieve their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you work in HR, are a founder, or are looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I am happy to answer your questions in my next column.”

TechCrunch+ members get access to weekly “Dear Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to purchase an annual or two-year subscription with a 50% discount.

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Dear Sophie,

I am an F-1 student who completed my bachelor’s degree in computer science this month. I got my OPT work permit and was offered a job at a cryptocurrency company, but they canceled my job offer.

Do I have to notify my DSO that my job offer has been cancelled? What options do I have, especially if I want to create my own web3 startup? How long can I stay in the US without a job? Thanks in advance for your help!

– Gallant City

Dear Galant,

Sorry to hear you have to change plans at the last minute. While uncomfortable, this can be an exciting opportunity to explore and even create something on your own!

Do I need to notify the DSO?

Yes, you must notify the responsible school officer (DSO) at your university of your situation as soon as possible. Federal regulations require that you notify your DSO within 10 days of any change in your employment or personal information. DSOs are required to update information in the Exchange Student and Visitor Information System (SEVIS) within 21 days.

How long can I stay unemployed?

Composite image of immigration lawyer Sophie Alcorn with the TechCrunch logo in the background.

Image Credits: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (Opens in a new window)

F-1 students on OPT are only allowed to remain unemployed for 90 days after graduation. Then they will have to leave the United States.

Without Optional Practical Training (OPT), F-1 students may stay in the US for 60 days after graduation. This 60-day grace period also applies after the OPT expires, unless the F-1 student applies for a two-year extension, known as WHOLESALE SELECTION or finds another visa category.

What are my options?

The first option is to create your own job opening by founding or co-founding a startup. Web3 is popular right now and it will be related to your computer science degree in terms of F-1 OPT. Founders are allowed to be self-employed in the F-1 Regular OPT program after receiving an EAD card.

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