Table of Contents

Unshackled #28: EB-1 retrogression, Canada's work permit, & tickets sold out.

July 19, 2023



Happy Wednesday. ✨

Soundarya here, from Unshackled. :)

πŸŽ‰ We've hit 250 tickets for the Unshackled book launch, happening this Saturday (22nd) in Silicon Valley.

We have people showing up from New York, Austin, Philadelphia, Seattle, and even as far as Bangalore. Honestly, I am shocked to see the kind of demand that this event has generated, especially in the past 7 days (I guess most people purchase last minute?).

Due to the overwhelming demand, I'm opening up 25 extra tickets after speaking with the venue manager.

If you, or anyone you know, is interested, now is the time to act. My guess is that the tickets will be gone within 48 hours. If you already got a ticket, I can't wait to celebrate with you. πŸ’š


Get your ticket now for $129 (promo code: GETUNSHACKLED)


Before we jump in, I want to welcome 250 new subscribers to our newsletter since last week. Welcome, everyone. Right now, we're 7,650 members strong! πŸ™

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 picks 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. πŸ’ƒ


This week's TL;DR

- ​EB-1 priority dates retrogressed by 10 years. But, it's not permanent.

- Canada's open work permit opened... and closed within 48 hours.

- Tickets for my book launch are sold out. I've opened 25 extra ones. Want it?​


πŸ“Œ UNfold: Top stories

​EB-1 priority date retrogressed by 10 years in August visa bulletin.​

If you haven't heard from a panicked friend yet, the priority dates for EB-1 first preference green cards have been retrogressed from 2022 to 2012 in the August visa bulletin, for Indian-born immigrants. It's caused a lot of panic within the Indian community for people who were looking to the EB-1 as their shorter pathway to freedom. But, don't worry too much. As I explain in this post, such crazy retrogressions have happened in the past, and it's likely that the date will return back to February 2022 in a few months. Even the State Department said this in their memo. For now, put your head down and focus on building your profile!


​Canada's Open Work Permit Slots for H1-B Visa Holders Filled in Just 48 Hours​

Yep. The 10,000 applications for the famous "open work permit" opened on July 16th, and was over by the end of July 17th. What does this say? Well, for starters, a lot of people who got laid off are still looking for jobs. And second, relocation to Canada has become more and more popular. In related news, the Canadian government also announced its first Express Entry draw for folks in STEM fields.

​Good news: Eight New Fields Added to STEM OPT Program by DHS​

At some point in your immigrant journey, you must've heard the phrase, "Is your degree STEM certified?" This matters because having the STEM certification gives you two extra years to work in the U.S., on top of the one year you get with your OPT. Over the years, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has continued to add more and more fields to this "STEM designated list." Recently, it added 8 new fields: Landscape Architecture, Institutional Research, Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering Technology/Technician, Composite Materials Technology/Technician, Linguistics and Computer Science, Developmental and Adolescent Psychology, Geospatial Intelligence, and Demography and Population Studies.


🎁 UNlock: Relevant resources

​Addressing Domestic Abuse Among Immigrants on Dependent Visas​

In the last month, 3 immigrants messaged me asking, "What to do when I'm being domestically abused and I'm on a dependent visa?" It can be a very vulnerable situation to be in, but you should know that there is help around. In this post, I detail some of your options, including the abused spouse EAD card, non-profits that can help you, as well as the VAWA self-petition green card. If you're in this situation, or know someone who is, check it out. And feel free to email me for further help.


​Working for US Companies as a Digital Nomad: What Non-US Citizens Need to Know​

Non-US citizens can work remotely for US companies while living abroad, but there are legal and logistical factors to consider. These include worker classification, tax obligations, visa requirements, local market interactions, and payment options. Check out this article that describes these in more detail.


πŸͺ„ UNveil: Get the most out of what you read

Okay, you know how you're reading something on a Kindle, find a passage you want to remember, highlight it, but then forget all about it? Readwise has a solution for you. It syncs all of your highlights, across all the apps (including Kindle, Medium, Pocket, Instapaper, etc). But, instead of letting it fall into an abyss, it resurfaces your highlights on a daily basis and quizzes you to see if you remember it!

I've been using it for 3 years on and off -- and can't recommend it enough. As a bonus, you get a 6-month free trial when you use the link below.


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πŸ‘‰ Want to sponsor an upcoming newsletter? Just hit reply to start a conversation.


πŸ’« UNcover: Picks from the internet

- ​50 fresh, high-quality developer job openings from startups funded by the top VCs. Plus curated content to help devs supercharge startup careers.

- Aditi Paul is beginning to host a paid "EB-1 eval roundtable" where you can get feedback on your profile from folks who've been there, done that.

- Just for giggles:


πŸ₯³ TL;DR on the Unshackled Launch [July 22]

What is it? A 250-member gathering to celebrate the launch of Unshackled, and make lasting connections within the immigrant community.

When & where? July 22nd. 5:00-9:00 PM (with a potential after-party after ;)). Plug & Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, CA.

Who's coming? 20 O-1/EB-1 extraordinary visa recipients. 10 immigrant founders. 10 investors. 5 lawyers. 5 journalists. 1 White House expert. & dozens of cool people.

Why should I come? (a) To make meaningful progress toward your immigration goal, (b) to talk to folks who've been there, done that, (c) to get free consults with lawyers, & (d) to engage in a thoughtful discussion around the future of immigration policy (we all know it's not great right now).

We're sold out of tickets. I've opened 25 extra ones due to overwhelming demand. If you'd like to attend the end, now is the time to act. Gets yours soon.πŸ‘‡


Get your ticket for $129 (promo code: GETUNSHACKLED)


Until next week, stay amazing.



Yours truly,

Soundarya πŸ’š


πŸ’‘ 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 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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