Waiting for opt work permit wilting me away😞

Hi everyone. I am in the US on F-1 visa and recently graduated from Umass Amherst, MA. I applied for a OPT work authorization on March 23, 2022, without which I cannot start working at this exciting, well-paid position I bagged in New York City.

My case is still pending with USCIS and nothing I tried seemed to work. I tried to expedite, but no use. Read online that I can reach out to congressmen but seems like even there they have a huge waiting list .

A line to get in a line to get in a line.

Its been waiting 100+ days that I applied but the case processing time USCIS mentions is 1 month. Everyone around me, all my friends who applied even after me got approved and went to join their companies. Given my start date was 5th July, I surely couldn't join but my company was kind enough to push my start date by a month.

I am still worried what happens if I still do not receive my work permit in that time. Will my company still want me? Will my job offer be cancelled? What happens if after all this wait the work permit is denied and I run out of everything by then?

All problems are quickly becoming bigger with my lease soon going to end, my health insurance soon going to end, my finances..(I hardly should be talking about that) are forcing me to be extremely frugal, be home bound in this college town Amherst which is now deserted due to summer, I cannot even do a part time to support myself since I have graduated. Is there anyone going through the same issue with this federal immigration agency? Is there anything else I can do? Is there anyone I can reach out to who will listen to me?

Yes, I am an international student, but my anxiety and depression, which peaks every morning is wilting me of any power I have to struggle more. I am lonely and scared in these uncertain times. After all, I was only trying to work for the United States.

Thanks for even reading so far, any advise or any thoughts are much appreciated!

I totally feel you international student over here too! Unfortunately timelines are really horrible because USCIS was closed for months during COVID and now it’s crazy backlog. In this case, it’s not your “fault” per se so Is there a legal dept at your company so you have access to an immigration lawyer? And what other options does your firm have? Can you brainstorm with them? They’ve already given you the offer so they want you!
Thank you for your thoughts Iynna! Those words helped! 😌 Also, what will the immigration lawyer be able to assist me with exactly?
Discuss your options ie what’s your plan B, C etc. Biggest lesson I learned with immigration is to always have a backup plan.