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. :)
It's been a week since I landed in India. However, thanks to COVID, I spent the past 5 days in bed, mostly just resting. While not fun, the 5 days in bed also gave me time to reflect on the 3 things I wish someone told me when I quit my Salesforce job.
Before we jump in, I want to welcome 110 new subscribers to our newsletter since last week. Welcome, everyone. Right now, we're 7,780 members strong! 🙏
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. 💃
This week's TL;DR
- I interview the founder of Lawfully next Tuesday. Come join the free webinar!
- Good news if you're from a STEM field & want to immigrate to Canada.
- Want to see a list of debarred/disqualified H-1B employers? Check it out.
📌 UNfold: Top stories
USCIS recently completed its second round of the H-1B lottery, picking about 80,000 applicants from the pool of over 780,000. While this is good news for the 80,000 applicants who got picked, it also shows a low approval rate for the final petitions. An analysis by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) suggests that only 50,000 or fewer of the initial selections will result in approved H-1B petitions.
Good news for STEM folks! Canada has introduced a new STEM-focused category in its Express Entry system for skilled immigrants. Announced on July 5, 2023, this initiative aims to address labor shortages in the nation's science and technology sector. With immigration accounting for nearly 100% of Canada's labor force growth, this move is expected to attract skilled STEM professionals and bolster the country's technological advancements.
A recent report reveals a pretty significant rise in F-1 student visa denials between 2015 and 2022. This trend predominantly affects nations in Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, and South America. South America saw a jump from 10% denials in 2015 to 24% in 2022. The report suggests multiple reasons, including stricter scrutiny by consular officers and the controversial dual intent rule.
🎁 UNlock: Relevant resources
I'm so excited for this one. Lawfully is one of the frontrunners in the world of Immigration-tech & AI. I've used them for a couple of years now. I'm excited to interview the founder and CEO on his path to building the app along with discussing where immigration tech is headed next. If you're a founder, aspiring founder, or just curious about the world of immigration, come join us!
Recently, I got an email from someone who told me they might be a victim of workplace harassment. It's possible many more H-1B holders out there are being abused without knowledge. Check out this article to find out the list of debarred/disqualified H-1B employers, along with how to report them to the government.
The O-3 visa is a dependent visa based on the O-1, meant for spouses and unmarried children. Sadly, it does not allow you to work, nor does it allow you to obtain an SSN. This article details the opportunities and restrictions of the O-3. This is especially important if you plan to apply for an O-1 soon with a spouse!
🪄 UNveil: A (free) app to track your visa applications
I used Lawfully for the first time in 2021 to track the result of an H-1B visa application. As far as I know, they're the only mobile app that let you track visa applications in a few simple steps. With over 1M immigrants using their app, they're also the most popular option out there. If you're currently waiting for a result of a visa application -- or plan to apply for one soon -- go ahead and download their free app!
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💫 UNcover: Picks from the internet
- Here's a little game designed by Cato Institute on finding your path to a green card as a legal immigrant. (Also a great look into how messed up the system is)
- Should journalism be on the list of STEM-designated degrees? Some universities think so!
- Guess who got featured in the Times of India last week? =)
🥳 UNshackled: What's happening in the community?
With the book launch behind us, I'll be spending the rest of the year focused on growing the Unshackled community by adding a ton of resources to help O-1/EB-1 aspirants and immigrant founders.
To kick things off, here's a sneak peek into what's been brewing in the community over the past couple of months:
- A directory of 4 immigration lawyers who all offer a free initial consult.
- A directory of 5 O-1/EB-1 recipients who all offer a free initial consult.
- Discussion threads on questions like "How many judging, membership, and authorship evidences do I need for an EB-1?"
- Want a comprehensive profile-building tracker for your O-1/EB-1 visa?
- Edited recordings of all the 7 AMAs we've had so far, with immigration lawyers, O-1 recipients, and EB-1 recipients.
Want to join the community? Use this private link to purchase a bi-annual or annual membership.
Starting now, I'll share the highlights every week on ways we're growing the community.
Until next week, stay amazing.