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.
Happy Wednesday. ✨
Soundarya here, from Unshackled. :)
We had a grand launch event for Unshackled last Saturday (July 22nd). It was exhausting, chaotic, and absolutely mesmerizing. After climbing this mountain for a year, the view from the top was spectacular.
If you were one of the 200+ who came, thank you. I'm still processing the event and sending messages of gratitude.
I'm also thrilled to share that Unshackled is now available on Amazon for orders (both Kindle and paperback). If you pre-ordered it, you should receive it in a few weeks once we receive the books from India.
Before we jump in, I want to welcome 15 new subscribers to our newsletter since last week. Welcome, everyone. Right now, we're 7,700 members strong now! 🙏
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 in 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
- Free webinar #1 on all your options to relocate to Canada.
- Free webinar #2 on navigating job search as a student.
- Closing all "lifetime community memberships" this week. Purchase one here by July 31st.
📌 UNfold: Top stories
Canada has been in the news a lot with the "open work permit" program that they launched, targeting H-1B holders. But, they also launched news around a few other programs for immigrants to relocate there, including the "digital nomad visa." This will allow you to stay in the country for up to 6 months without a work permit and could lead to a PR if you get a job through a Canadian employer. Canada joins more than 30 countries in opening its doors to digital nomads, thanks to the pandemic. Application for the program is set to open toward the end of 2023.
Raja Krishnamoorthi, a democratic representative, has proposed a bill to double the annual intake of H-1B visas from 65,000 to 130,000. Known as the "HIRE" Act, it's another bill in a string of bills aimed at addressing the "shortage of skilled workers" & funding STEM education. This comes right after ITServe, an association of >2000 IT companies in the U.S., also proposed the same. While there's momentum right now, we're still a long way from the bill becoming law.
USCIS has a tool called "myProgress" that helps you get estimates on your application wait times, including final decisions. They calculate it based on historical data for a specific service center. Recently, they added two new forms to this tool, including Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document). To get started, create an online account with USCIS.
🎁 UNlock: Relevant resources
While Canada has been in the news a lot for its open work permit, there are several other ways to relocate over there. In this webinar, you'll hear about all of the options from Darren Lum, partnerships lead at Syndesus Inc, a Canadian startup that helps folks like you relocate from the U.S. If you've been thinking about Canada, come join in. This is a free webinar from the Unshackled community!
If you've not been keeping up with the latest on immigration, check out this free webinar where lawyers from Reddy & Neumann will share the highlights, along with what to expect the upcoming year.
Are you an international student? Are you actively looking for a job? Check out this free webinar by Betsy Cohen, author of a book on job search. She will talk about managing job search and academics, networking, and interview strategies.
🪄 UNveil: ChatGPT for NRI investing
Have a lot of very specific questions on taxes, finances, and investing? Well, Inri just launched the first "NRI GPT" to answer them. NRI GPT is powered by OpenAI's ChatGPT and trained on curated datasets. Click here to use it for free!
Some context: Inri is a Y-Combinator-backed wealth platform, dedicated to helping Indian NRIs invest back in India. They're akin to Wealthfront, targeted at Indian markets. They have a lifetime free offer if you sign up by the end of July. (Join their WhatsApp community here).
👉 Want to sponsor an upcoming newsletter? Just hit reply to start a conversation.
💫 UNcover: Picks from the internet
- Want to get a children's book that promotes immigration while also helping non-profits? Buy a copy of Our American Dream, by Fiona McEntee. I just got mine.
- Here's an interesting (free) webinar on the loneliness epidemic by a bunch of experts, happening on July 27th, 11:00 AM PT.
- Attorney Anu Gupta on "How Skilled Immigration Shapes the Long-Term U.S. Economy."
🥳 UNShackled: Closing Lifetime Community Memberships
The idea of building an online community for high-skilled immigrants started even before I wanted to write a book on the topic.
I knew just education is not enough to figure out the maze that is immigration. Nor is it a purely "logical" problem. There are emotions at play. It takes months and sometimes years to reach the finish line. And, we all need a support system.
We kept the Unshackled community closed over the past couple of months to set up a foundation. We have it now. We have a directory of lawyers, O-1/EB-1 mentors, a few resources, and weekly sessions with experts. Now, I'm excited to spend the next year growing this community, adding a ton of useful resources, & overall making it the URL that immigrants would want to open when they feel down or demotivated.
As a result: I've also decided to close the "lifetime community membership" priced at $200. Instead, we'll switch to a "bi-annual" and "annual" membership model starting next week, at a higher price point (>$400). The lifetime membership was set up to specifically reward early supporters who backed us when we were just an idea.
Since you've been a loyal reader of this newsletter, I wanted to give a final heads-up before we do this. If you're aiming for an O-1/EB-1, or wish to start something of your own, come join the unshackled.club now.