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I’m a master student on F1 visa and graduating this May 15. I got an offer from a big company (a bank) two weeks ago and the start date on it is May 21. However, I applied for OPT around late March and expect to get work authorization around late June. The problem is that I was afraid of losing this offer at that time so I didn’t brought up this actively while talking to hr and already signed it (I did mention that my work authorization might not be approved on the start date but the hr didn’t follow up about that). I think I should follow up with them ASAP for their convenience. Do you have any suggestions that can make them more comfortable and willing to delay the start date for, up to 3 or 4 weeks?

Thanks a lot!

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Call them up today and explain the situation to them. The longer you take to tell them, the more you risk upsetting them.

That being said, since you are a new hire they probably don't have urgent work attached to hiring you, and chances are they won't have an issue with delaying your start date. There are a lot of scenarios where people need to delay the start date for a new job. You said that you mentioned to them a potential issue with the work authorization, and if they didn't react at that time, then chances are they aren't going to freak out and pull the offer. However, even if they are going to get upset, you maximize the chances of them accepting the delay.

Since it isn't certain that you are going to have to start late, you can try something like this:

I wanted to follow up on the risk that I won't have work authorization in time to start on May 21st. I have applied and things appear to be moving forward, but I'm worried that I might not be able to actually start until day X. Would you all prefer moving the start date back preemptively, or should I just keep you updated as the process continues?

  • Thanks so much for the answer! It is very helpful. I tried to contact hr but she is not responsive recently. I do have my team lead's email and phone #. Do you think it is OK if I contact him instead first? – Tlin May 1 '18 at 13:52
  • It seems most relevant to discuss this with HR, but since the date is approaching you could consider asking the team lead about it, or asking the team lead to help you get in touch with HR. – dbeer May 1 '18 at 13:58

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