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Unshackled #21: ICE sets July deadline, traveling on an H-1B & free webinar

June 8, 2023

After months of planning, I am happy to announce that we are officially releasing the passes to attend the launch of Unshackled happening on July 22nd in the heart of Silicon Valley. This will be the biggest event in the country that brings together high-skilled immigrants, talent visa holders (O1/EB1), lawyers, immigrant founders, journalists, and venture capitalists.We have a singular mission: make this evening the tipping point that could change everything in your immigration journey.When you go home from the event, you will have the connections, resources, and motivation you need to get your own talent visa or start your company. You will be part of a movement at the country level to drive systemic change. And, you won’t feel lonely anymore.To ensure that maximum value per person is delivered, we’re capping the event at 150 passes (50 have been sold so far). Further, we already have RSVPs from 20+ VIPs, including Aditya Sharma (Founder of HiCounselor & O-1A recipient), Praba Murugiah (Investor & Superconnector), and Anu Ramakrishnan (PM & EB-1A recipient).This is an invite-only event. Since you are part of the newsletter, you get first dibs on the passes. Use the access code “GETUNSHACKLED” to purchase at a discounted price of $99. This code is valid only till June 10th.

Get Unshackled

 Now, onto the newsletter!You're receiving this email as part of the Unshackled weekly newsletter. Immigration is a complex world. So every Wednesday, I try to simplify that by sharing top stories, curated resources, & fun tweets from the internet that matter to you. I also sprinkle it with updates on my upcoming book, Unshackled, at the end. If you find value reading it, forward this to a lucky friend. If this was forwarded to you, get your own here! Read all the past editions here. 💃 

This week's TL;DR

📌 Stories you should know about

Chicago hopes to fill 400,000 vacancies with laid off H1-B workersMore than 200,000 tech workers have been laid off in the last five months. But, even as layoffs continue, our labor shortages aren’t going anywhere. Revelio Labs found that over 40% of companies had more than 50 technical roles that they were unable to fill in the past year. To bridge this gap, and to make use of immigrant talent, Chicago is coordinating an initiative between 35 firms willing to hire H-1B visa holders. This effort hopes to fill over 400,000 open roles by tapping into the pool of workers laid off from the tech sector who are here on a visa.New bill introduced to hire healthcare workers on cap-exempt H-1B​A new bill was introduced to help the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to hire foreign healthcare workers. Introduced by Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Delia Ramirez, the bill proposes that healthcare workers be hired on a cap-exempt H-1B, so that they can avoid the annual lottery altogether. If you or anyone you know is a healthcare worker currently outside the US, check this out and keep track of the bill to see if it comes to fruition!DHS plans to sunset the "Remote I-9 Verification" by end of July​During the pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) introduced something called the ‘Remote form I-9’, which is a temporary policy allowing employers to verify a remote worker’s documents without physical contact. DHS has announced that they are planning to end this flexibility on July 31, 2023. If you are an employer, make sure to check out the article and follow the required steps to stay current with the law.​

🎁 Resources curated for you

Free Webinar: Navigating Immigration Roadblocks [June 3rd, 2023 3:30 AM PST]If you have questions about immigration hurdles, here’s an exclusive webinar where experts will share insights on overcoming challenges such as missed H1-B selections, building an O1 profile, and negotiating with employers regarding your immigration status.Checklist to review before traveling outside the U.S. on H-1BAre you traveling outside the U.S. on an H-1B? Then check out this article once! It shares a checklist to follow, such as the documents you need to carry, including your passport, I-94 card, a letter confirming employment, and photocopies of your H-1B petitions and approval notice. Further, if you’re traveling to a country other than your home country, you may need a visitor's visa, so check the embassy website for the nearest consulate.Got laid off on an H-1B? What you should do nextAre you an H-1B visa holder facing layoff? Check out this article which lays out the 6 things you should do to ensure you’re protecting your visa status. From communicating with your manager to exploring alternative visa options, understand the steps to follow and be proactive in securing your future in the country.​💡 None of the information shared in this newsletter is meant to be legal advice. If you're looking for legal advice, speak to a lawyer, or hit reply and let me know so I can connect you with one.​

🪄 Unshackled's picks for the week

Starting this week, I’ll share some cool products, tools, and resources that you’ll find helpful as a knowledge worker in this section!*

​*These are affiliate links that give me a small reward when you use them. Thank you in advance. :)​

📕 What's the latest on Unshackled?

​We’re closing the gates for the Unshackled online community today. After the end of today, you won’t be able to join the community without going through an application form. This is to preserve the quality of the space and focus on delivering value for those who’ve joined so far!If you’re actively wanting to apply for a talent visa (O1/EB1), start a company, or meet with other such aspirants, the community is for you. Make sure to purchase a membership by the end of today.In other news, I’ve been swamped with planning the launch party for the book and community. I’m tapping into every ounce of event planning skills I have (which is not a lot!) to ensure this is one of a kind. Thankfully, I have a team of ~15 volunteers helping me on out various fronts, from visiting venues in Silicon Valley to making a list of journalists to reach out to! 💚I also did a LASIK surgery last Wednesday, which put me to bed for the next four days. (I used the resting time to finally finish listening to A Promised Land by Barack Obama!) I’m back and slowly recovering now, and typing this newsletter without glasses for the first time. 😄​Hey, by the way, if you haven't yet, be the 900th person to pre-order the book below. 👇

Get Unshackled

And, if you enjoyed reading this email, forward it to one friend. It helps more than you know.

Until next week, stay awesome.

Yours truly,

Soundarya 💚

👀 Fun corners of the internet

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Sprinting back to the H1B life like a pro. Source: ​Anu Ramakrishnan​[/caption]


Unshackled is the name of a book and its accompanying online community. On here, you’ll find articles on everything from building your profile for an O-1A visa to starting a company on your H-1B. Want to get such resources directly in your Inbox? Join 7000 immigrants who hear from us every Wednesday.

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