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I am a STEM major on OPT and the owner of a company. Do I qualify for a STEM extension?

Seattle, WA |

I graduated college and founded a company. I want to be able to stay and work for it but my OPT expires in 1 year. I wonder if I still qualify for a STEM extension if I'm the owner of my company?

Thanks.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    Let's assume you can extend your OPT under the STEM regulations. You'll still have to figure out what to do after your final OPT extension expires. You cannot run your own company as a self-employed professional in H-1B status so you'll have to see if you qualify for another visa (perhaps an investor visa, if a treaty exists between your country and the U.S.) or you'll have to transition your role as owner to employee to qualify for some of the non-immigrant employment visas (most of which require that an employer sponsor the beneficiary employee---no self-employment allowed).

    This information is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, as the information provided is extremely limited and without the benefit of having all facts available.


  2. Is this company registered with e-verify?

    Talk to your foreign student adviser ... self-employment is possible with OPT ... but not easy to do.

    PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.


  3. Its time for a consultation with an attorney to make some longer term plans. As stated by Att. Cordova, in the meantime some likely categories to investigate are E, L, H, maybe O?

    Responses by attorneys on AVVO are by the nature of the forum, not legal advice. To obtain reliable legal advice, please contact my office directly to set up a free 15 minute consultation. During the consultation, we will be able to assess whether we can help you or a more in depth consultation is needed. Visit www.mcauliffimmigration.com or call us at 206.494.9999.

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