Table of Contents

Unshackled #33: F-1 students deported, AMA with lawyer, & free webinar.

August 23, 2023



Happy Wednesday. ✨

Soundarya here, from Unshackled. :)

I get 400+ connection requests on LinkedIn each week, but... 99% do it wrong :( I've been observing the requests I got the past few weeks and was intrigued to see the same mistakes over and over again. In this post, I share 3 simple "tweaks" that you can make to 5x the conversion rate of your requests.

Do you resonate with the points over there? Hit reply and let me know.

Before we jump in, I want to welcome 99 new subscribers to our newsletter since last week. Welcome, everyone. Hope you find value! 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 and relevant resources that matter to you. I also sprinkle it with updates on what's happening with the Unshackled book & community. 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. πŸ’ƒ


This week's TL;DR


πŸ“Œ UNfold: Top stories

​Senators Push for STEM Graduates' Green-Card Exemption Amidst Tech Layoffs.​

Tech companies have laid off over 223,000 employees in 2023, a 35% increase from 2022. As a response, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mike Rounds are proposing the "Keep STEM Talent Act" as an amendment to the defense spending bill. If passed, it could add numerous foreign workers to the U.S. tech labor market by exempting STEM graduates from green-card quotas! But, most bills in Congress tend to die before getting to the finish line. So I wouldn't have hope until we hear more.


​Deported Students Risk 5-Year U.S. Entry Ban and H1B Visa Challenges​

Recently, 21 Indian students were deported in a day, mainly from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, after arriving in the U.S. for higher education. Their deportations occurred after document checks at airports where officers saw some "discrepancies." Now, they may be facing a five-year re-entry ban. This could also affect their chances of entering countries like Canada, the UK, and Australia. Moral? Spend extra time on documentation when you're crossing borders. I hope you got here safely if you're an incoming student.


​USCIS Introduces Online Form for In-Person Appointment Requests.​

USCIS introduced an online form for individuals and legal representatives to request in-person appointments at local field offices without needing to call customer support. While specific dates can be requested, they aren't guaranteed. The initiative supports the Executive Order on Transforming Federal Customer Experience and aims to improve user experience. More details are available here.


🎁 UNlock: Relevant resources

​O-1A & EB-1A: AMA with Seth R Leech (Partner at Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP)​

I interviewed Seth Leech, a veteran lawyer and partner at WOH, on the process to build your profile and applying for both the O-1A and EB-1A. In this video, he talks about everything from how to build your profile as a PM for the EB-1A to filing the O-1A as a founder. This was originally conducted within the Unshackled community. If you'd like to join it (and get free consults from lawyers & O-1/EB-1 recipients), use this private link for a 20% discount!​


​[Free Webinar] Unlocking Opportunities: Navigating Canadian Visa [30th Aug 2023, 11:00 AM PST]​

Thinking about relocating to Canada? Join this free webinar by Bridge where Pavan Dhillon, an immigration lawyer, will cover everything from the various options to relocate to Canada to what getting a PR really looks like. Enjoy!


πŸͺ„ UNveil: A (free) tracker for 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 lets you track visa applications in a few simple steps. With over 1M users and 2.5M registered cases, 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!​


​​Download Lawfully Case Tracker: App Store​​Download Lawfully Case Tracker: Google Play


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


πŸ₯³ UNshackled: What's happening in the community?


Last week, I shared that I'm planning to create a high-quality "Case Study Library" filled with past O-1 and EB-1 recipients from all fields -- engineers, product managers, founders -- sharing their journey.

Since then, I've been thinking... and I've decided to upgrade that idea to create a high-quality course on the topic of extraordinary visas.

But, before creating the course, I wanted to interview a ton of people who are actively thinking about an O-1/EB-1 visa to see what it is that they actually need. So, I sent out an email requesting a 1:1 call to community members. To my pleasant surprise, 100+ signed up for it. Now you know what I'll be spending the next few weeks on. =)

In other news,

If you'd like to join the community and get first access to the course, along with free lawyer consults, free mentor consults, weekly events, and a ton of resources, use this private link (with a 20% discount).​

Or, if you just wanna kick back and read the book for now, get your copy on Amazon today! (both Kindle and paperback)

Until next week, stay lovely.



Yours truly,

Soundarya πŸ’š



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.

Click to learn more β†’