How can college students work or launch a startup whereas sustaining their immigration standing? • TechCrunch


Right here’s one other version of “Pricey Sophie,” the recommendation column that solutions immigration-related questions on working at know-how corporations.

“Your questions are important to the unfold of data that enables folks all around the world to rise above borders and pursue their desires,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration legal professional. “Whether or not you’re in folks ops, a founder or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d like to answer your questions in my subsequent column.”

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


Pricey Sophie,

I’m finding out bioinformatics at a college within the U.S.

What choices do I’ve to work earlier than and after commencement on my pupil visa? Do any of those choices enable me to launch my very own startup?

— Eager to Work

Pricey Wanting,

I applaud your enthusiasm to get to work! The chance to work and get coaching in your area is without doubt one of the attracts of finding out within the U.S. Complicated immigration guidelines and rules for worldwide college students — to not point out processing delays and cut-off dates — could make issues difficult, however all you want is a bit of planning to beat these challenges!

Your capacity to work in your space of research — and for the way lengthy — is determined by what kind of pupil visa you maintain:

  • F-1 pupil visa.
  • J-1 academic and cultural trade visa.
  • M-1 pupil visa.

F-1 gives probably the most versatile work choices

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

Picture Credit: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a new window)

The F-1 pupil visa gives probably the most choices for working each earlier than you graduate and after. Two varieties of coaching packages can be found to most worldwide college students who maintain an F-1 visa, making them eligible to work of their area of research:

  • Curricular Sensible Coaching (CPT) is obtainable to college students at some schools and universities.
  • Non-compulsory Sensible Coaching (OPT) is obtainable both earlier than or after commencement.
  • STEM OPT is a 24-month extension of OPT out there to college students who graduated with a STEM degree designated by the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety.

Working underneath CPT

If CPT is obtainable at a college or faculty, then college students on F-1 visas are eligible if they’ve been enrolled full time for at the least one tutorial 12 months and haven’t but graduated. Some graduate packages enable and even require college students to use for CPT on the very starting of their program.





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