Table of Contents

Unshackled #41: EB-1 retrogression, founder masterclass, & H-1B fraud.

October 18, 2023


Happy Wednesday. ✨

Soundarya here, from Unshackled. :)

I have a favor to ask: could you fill in this survey (<1 min)? We want to feature relevant sponsors in the newsletter so you benefit from their products/services, and that means understanding our newsletter audience. The survey is 100% anonymous.

Fill in 60-second survey

Before we jump in, I want to thank our partners Notion and Legalpad who made this newsletter free for all. And, I'm delighted to welcome 132 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

📌 UNfold: Top stories

US Announces Visa Renewal Program for Indian Workers, But Delays Raise Concerns

The US Ambassador to India has introduced a pilot program for visa renewal within the United States, benefitting Indian professionals on H-1B and L-1 visas. This initiative simplifies the visa renewal process, addressing issues such as prolonged waiting periods and family separation. However, despite announcing that it will be launched in the second half of 2023, there's been no update so far. This has left people disappointed, especially those planning to visit their families during the holiday season.

Challenges Mount for Indian H1-B Visa Holders Amid BigTech Layoffs

We've all heard of the layoffs over the past year, especially in big tech: Google, Meta, Amazon, Salesforce, etc. Sadly, this has disproportionately affected Indian H-1B workers, who comprise of >70% of all H-1B workers in the U.S., and only have 60 days of grace period. Despite the challenges, some laid-off H-1B workers have managed to find new jobs, but there are concerns about the human and economic costs of the current system.

White House Clears Proposed H-1B Rule to Combat Fraud and Boost Entrepreneurship

A proposed rule aimed at addressing fraud in the H-1B visa program has been approved by the White House. This rule, known as RIN 1615-AC70, also enhances flexibility for entrepreneurs under H-1B visas and updates regulations related to site visits and petition filings!

🎁 UNlock: Relevant resources

Masterclass ($25): Starting a company as an F-1 student [19th Oct 2023, 6:30 PM PST]

If you’re still on your F-1 OPT and want to start a business, this is for you. Meet Digvijay, the co-founder of Drizzle Health and a recent O-1A recipient. As a member of the Unshackled community, he's hosting a masterclass on how to build your company as a student on the F-1 OPT. Come learn as he demystifies the process of starting a company after graduation. (This masterclass is being conducted as part of the Unshackled online community. It's free for members.)

Free Webinar: AMA on EB-1 Retrogression (ft. Seth R. Leech) [27th Oct, 8.00 AM PST]

There's been a lot of buzz around the EB-1 retrogression the past few months. To help you get some answers, I'm excited to interview Seth Leech. ​Seth is an experienced lawyer and a Partner at Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP. You don't wanna miss this! (This webinar is being conducted as part of the Unshackled online community.)

Not Selected for an H-1B? Alternate Work Authorization Options in the United States

Since the H-1B cap registration process began in 2020, there has been a surge in demand for these visas, far exceeding the quota set by the US Congress. The odds of selection in the H-1B lottery have become increasingly challenging. So it's worth checking out some other options such as: F-1 OPT, F-1 STEM OPT, F-1 CPT, cap-exempt H-1B, L-1, O-1, TN, H-1B1, and E-3. Dive into them in this article!

🪄 UNveil: This week’s partners

  • Set up your productivity workspace on Notion: I’ve been singing praises for Notion for more than 4 years now. If you want an all-in-one workspace for everything from to-do lists to product roadmaps to mentor directories, then Notion is your pal!

👉 Want to put yourself in front of 8500+ high-skilled immigrants? Just hit reply to start a conversation.

🥳 UNshackled: What's happening in the community?

Exciting news: After a LOT of background work, we’ve set up a 45-day onboarding process for anyone who joins our community! By the end of the 45 days, you will have a roadmap of reaching your immigration goal — whether that is to self-petition a green card, start a company on O-1, or quit your job.

Besides the above, here’s what brewin’ in the community:

  • Upcoming masterclass with founder & O-1A recipient: Digvijay is doing a masterclass on “starting a company on F-1 visa.” If you’re a student, don’t miss it! This is free for members – but you can also join by paying $30.
  • 2 new experts added!: This makes it 10 awesome O-1/EB-1 recipients who have joined our community to offer their time to mentor aspirants like you.
  • Discussions around topis like “Can I use non-english work in my EB-1A petition?
  • [Coming soon]Case Study Library: Imagine if there was a library filled with case studies of past O-1/EB-1 recipients, 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 free for all.

Whenever you're ready to join the community, use this private link that lets you join for $539 (10% off). Once you join, get access to top lawyers, O-1/EB-1 mentors, weekly events, & a roadmap to reach your goal.

Join 275+ ambitious immigrants at 10% off

Until next week, stay wonderful.

Yours truly,

Soundarya 💚


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 →