News on Startup Visas, H-1B Inquiries and STEM OPT – Techdoxx

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta February 23, 2022
Updated 2022/02/23 at 8:15 PM

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

“Your questions are vital to the dissemination of knowledge that allows people from all over the world to cross borders and pursue their dreams,” he says. Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “If you are in people operations, a founder or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”

Ploonge+ members receive access to the weekly “Dear Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to buy a one or two year subscription at 50% off.

Dear Sofia,

My STEM OPT expires in Feb 2023. My company has a policy of not registering for the H-1B lottery as I have over a year of OPT left.

What options do I have now?

— Distressed in Dublin

Dear Afflicted,

I am sorry to hear that your employer will not register you in the next H-1B lottery in March, which is the last chance your employer has to enter you into the lottery. We often see that most tech companies take every opportunity to register all OPT employees every year until they are selected.

Since your F-1 STEM OPTION expiring in February 2023, you should start looking for other visa or green card options now with an experienced immigration attorney who can make suggestions based on your unique situation, experience and goals. It’s likely too late to find an employer willing to register you for this year’s contest. H-1B lottery. However, you can look for a company that is willing to look for a limit free H-1Bwhich does not involve a lottery and can be requested at any time of the year.

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

Image credits: Joana Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a new window)

Work visas like the H-1B require a company to sponsor you, so you should look for other positions at companies that have a culture of diversity and inclusion and are willing to sponsor you. Today’s high demand for STEM talent means that you must have multiple job options available.

Additionally, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently made several policy changes aimed at retaining international STEM students in the United States, such as recognizing some doctoral and doctoral thesis awards. scholarships as meeting the criteria for a nationally or internationally recognized award of excellence for the O-1A extraordinary ability visa.

Stay the course – where there is a will, there is a way!


Dear Sofia,

There has been a lot of talk over the years about a startup visa.

Do you think this is the year one will actually be created?

— Exceptional Entrepreneur

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