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Dear Sophie: How can I launch a startup while on OPT?


Sophie Alcorn

Sophie Alcorn is the founder of Alcorn Immigration Law in Silicon Valley and 2019 Global Law Experts Awards’ “Law Firm of the Year in California for Entrepreneur Immigration Services.” She connects people with the businesses and opportunities that expand their lives.

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

Dear Sophie,
I’m an international student in the U.S. in F-1 status. I will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer science this May and plan to apply for OPT. I want to launch a startup. Can I do that with OPT? What options would I have after OPT to continue growing my company?
— Forward-Looking Founder
Dear Forward-Looking,
It’s so exciting to hear you’re planning ahead for your startup founder journey.
Taking this route requires planning and forethought. …

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