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Happy Wednesday. ✨
Soundarya here, from Unshackled. :)
In case you missed the update last week: we're increasing the Annual membership price for unshackled.club from $499 to $599 starting October 15th, 2023. We're hiring a few folks to join the team, as well as working on cool features on the backend to help members with their visa process. If you've been planning to join anyway, use this private link to join by then for a discount!
Before we jump in, I want to thank our sponsors Open Avenues and Inri who made this newsletter free for all. And, I'm delighted to welcome 37 new subscribers to our newsletter since last week. Welcome, welcome! 🙏
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 online 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. 💃
This week's TL;DR
- Registration closes today for masterclass: work for multiple employers on your O-1A.
- Thinking of moving to Canada? Join a free webinar next week.
- Some good news: you can continue working for 36 months on STEM OPT.
📌 UNfold: Top stories
Meta, formerly Facebook, is facing a lawsuit for its alleged preference for H-1B visa workers over U.S. citizens. Yep. The plaintiff claims that Meta's hiring policies favor foreign workers, particularly those on H-1B visas. Meta is fighting back, declining the allegation. This could cause issues for the thousands of H-1B workers under Meta, who have their PERM applications filed with the Department of Labor.
As a government shutdown looms, those with pending immigration applications wonder about the impact. USCIS, funded by fees, should function mostly as usual. However, non-fee-funded agencies like the Department of Labor may halt work, affecting processes like Labor Certifications. Visa and Passport services should remain unaffected, but CBP and ICE operations may be impacted. For specific cases, consulting with an attorney is advised due to the unique nature of immigration matters during a shutdown.
Good news: The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a case involving OPT and STEM OPT, upholding the Department of Homeland Security's authority to extend STEM OPT to 36 months. This decision is a win for universities, employers, and international students (like you!) as it allows for extended practical training in STEM fields. The decision also provides stability to STEM students and supports STEM talent retention in the United States.
🎁 UNlock: Relevant resources
Do you want to work for more than one employer on your O-1A? Freelance on multiple projects? It's possible, really. Hitesh Kenjale -- who is a member of the Unshackled community -- recently got his O-1A approved via the Agent route as the founder of an Indian startup. Come learn as he demystifies the process of finding an Agent & gain more creative control! (This masterclass is being conducted as part of the Unshackled online community.)
I'm excited to interview Monish Khambhat on his journey toward relocating to Canada! After several failed H-1B lottery attempts, Monish's future in the US was uncertain, until the opportunity to relocate to Canada with MobSquad was presented. In less than four weeks, Monish obtained a Canadian work permit and relocated to Vancouver, where he continues to support his US company, nearshore. You don't wanna miss this! (This webinar is being conducted as part of the Unshackled online community.)
International student or immigrant professional? Learn from leading experts on how to leverage your graduate school experience, craft your personal brand and network, and navigate the job market and immigration!
🪄 UNveil: This week’s sponsor
- Are you an immigrant founder or want to start your career in tech, check out Open Avenues. They offer immigration solutions to global innovators, entrepreneurs, & experts while helping international students. They're hosting an event in partnership with the founders of Plymouth Street & Unshackled Ventures at NY #TechWeek. If you're in the New York area, join them for an evening to dive into the world of O-1 visas, cap-exempt H-1Bs, & raising capital. Spots are limited -- apply today to join.
- Are you an NRI wanting to invest in India? Inri's got you covered. They're a fintech platform that makes the complex process of opening a bank account, curating a portfolio, & cross-border taxes simple and convenient. Check them out and start investing in India today!
👉 Want to put yourself in front of 8000+ high-skilled immigrants? Just hit reply to start a conversation.
🥳 UNshackled: What's happening in the community?
I bootstrapped the Unshackled community since Day 0.
For most of the community's lifetime, it was just me working on it. Onboarding lawyers. Scouring Slack & Reddit threads for resources. Interviewing experts on AMA sessions. Editing videos & reuploading them on YouTube.
But, the time has come to bring others into my team. I want to do more for the members, and do it fast. So I've been actively hiring on the backend for a community onboarding specialist, an AI expert who can build a chatbot, & a chief of staff.
To give you a sneak peek, here's what's upcoming:
- Upcoming masterclass with O-1A recipient: Hitesh Kenjale is hosting a session next week on how to get an Agent to file your O-1A. Join the session for $30. You can access the recording if you miss it.
- [Coming soon] Profile evaluation tool built on GPT4: I'm very excited to be working with an AI expert on how to use the latest tools to help visa aspirants. Stay tuned.
- [Coming soon] Case Study Library: Imagine if there was a library filled with case studies of past O-1/EB-1 recipients from 10 unique fields, sharing exactly how they got to the finish line. Coming soon.
- [Coming soon] O-1A self-assessment tool: I'm collaborating with the Schmidt Futures organization to build a tool that will give you a personalized roadmap for your O-1 journey. This will be open source.
If you'd like first dibs on everything above -- as well as free consults with lawyers, past recipients, masterclasses, and more -- use this private link that lets you join for $399 (20% off) until October 15th.
AS AN IMPORTANT REMINDER: We're increasing the annual membership price from $499 to $599 starting October 15th, 2023. Along with the price increase, the 20% discount (to purchase at $399) will also go away.
If you've been thinking of joining anyway, I hope you do it by then.
Until next week, stay lovely.