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Unshackled #24: Good news on fee hikes, making money on H-1B, & EB-1A.

June 21, 2023

Here's the next big update on the Unshackled launch party happening in Silicon Valley on July 22nd: We're partnering with the INK Global Foundation to host this event together. INK was founded in 2010 by Lakshmi Pratury & has a mission of creating a platform to share cutting-edge ideas by innovators. This partnership will now bring in more kickass founders, VCs, and innovators to the launch event!REMINDER: We're closing the next round of early-bird tickets this Saturday (24th). Be sure to get it by then.

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Before we jump into the newsletter, I want to welcome 52 new subscribers to our newsletter since last week. Welcome, folks! And thanks to you if you forwarded this to a dear friend. 🙏

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

📌 UNfold: Top stories

Biden administration is deferring USCIS fee hikes to June 2024​Remember how the USCIS was planning to hike up application visas across a ton of categories a few months ago? Well, here's some good news. The final decision on the fee hikes has been postponed until June 2024 due to the layoffs and a depressing economy. This has greatly eased concerns for both employers who were wanting to hire H-1B workers, as well as immigrant employees.​​U.S. Embassy opens student visa interview slots for July and August​Great news for Indian students! Visa interview slots for F-1 student visas to study in the U.S. are now open from mid-July to mid-August. To schedule an appointment, choose an available slot through the embassy or consulate, prepare the necessary documents, and be ready to answer questions about your academic background and study plans. It is recommended to book slots early and stay updated through the US embassy website.​​USCIS introduces new EAD guidelines to help migrant workers​The USCIS has introduced new guidelines that can benefit immigrants facing job termination or visa backlogs. Now, you can apply for an EAD based on compelling circumstances, protecting you from deportation if you lose your job. The process involves checking your eligibility, gathering evidence to support your case, filing the necessary forms, submitting biometrics, and waiting for the USCIS's decision.

🎁 UNlock: Relevant resources

All About O-1s, EB-1s, & H-1Bs: AMA with Sameer KhedekarIn this "Ask Me Anything" interview, I interviewed Sameer Khedekar, an immigration lawyer and the co-author of Unshackled on everything from making passive income on an H-1B to the advantage of applying for an EB-1 over the O-1. This was originally conducted within the Unshackled community. Apply here to join.​​Making Passive versus Active Income on H-1B​Continuing from last week, here’s another snippet from my book, Unshackled. This article focuses on making passive versus active income on your H-1B visa. While any active income you make has to fall under work authorization, the article details ideas for you to make passive income.​💡 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.​

💫 UNcover: Picks from the internet

🪄 UNveil: This week’s sponsor

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📕 What's the latest on Unshackled?

I finally settled back into the Bay Area in the new coworking space, Plug & Play Tech Center (which also happens to be the venue for our launch event ;)).It's been a very busy week planning the launch event, coordinating across volunteers, and interviewing folks for a community manager position.Amidst the busy-ness, I also realized why the Bay Area has its charm: it's the sense of urgency that I see in everyone here. Everyone wants to build something cool, grow fast, and change the world. In the last week, I met 7 new people and built partnerships with 2 of them -- something I never could have done in India.But, at the same time, I also realized that this is not the place to be to do deep, creative work. There's just too much noise. So a balance to strike would be to spend a few months growing here, and then returning back to India (or another place) to do the more quiet work necessary. What do you think?Hey, by the way, if you haven't yet, be the 930th person to pre-order the book below. 👇

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And, if you enjoyed reading this email, forward it to one friend. It helps more than you know. Plus, now you get rewarded for it!Until next week, stay awesome.​​Yours truly,Soundarya 💚


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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