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Unshackled #47: Domestic H1B renewal, Bay Area meetup, & free webinar.

November 22, 2023

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Happy Wednesday. ✨

Soundarya here, from Unshackled. :)

Hope you're still alive from all the Thanksgiving food last week! πŸ₯˜

As a final reminder: we're closing our thanksgiving offer to join the unshackled.club community by the end of tomorrow (Thursday). If you join by then, you get a quadruple reward:

  • $100 off the Annual Membership
  • 30-min consult with me for your O1/EB1 (worth $125)
  • Free access to my course on planning with Notion (worth $200)
  • A surprise gift sent to your house :)

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Join unshackled.club & claim rewards worth $400+

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Before we jump in, I want to thank our sponsors F1 Hire and Topmate who made this newsletter free for all. And, I'm delighted to welcome 71 new subscribers to our newsletter since last week. We're 9470 members strong now! 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 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. πŸ’ƒ

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This week's TL;DR

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πŸ“Œ UNfold: Top stories

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​U.S. to Launch Pilot Program for Domestic Renewal of H-1B Visas, Indians to Benefit​

The US is finally launching a pilot program in December for the domestic renewal of certain categories of H-1B visas, benefiting Indian tech workers. The program, limited to 20,000 participants, aims to reduce wait times for visa appointments and prevent individuals from traveling abroad for renewal. The initiative responds to high visa demand in India, with plans to issue 20,000 visas over three months. The program, exclusively for work visas, will start with a pilot and expand to more categories of workers in 2024. The move is praised for positively impacting over one million H-1B visa holders!

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​International Student Numbers in U.S. Show Unprecedented 40-Year Growth​

The U.S. experienced a significant surge in international student enrollment during the 2022-2023 academic year, marking a 12% increaseβ€”the fastest growth rate in over 40 years. Of this, a notable 35% increase in students came from India. The growth was observed across all degree levels, particularly in graduate programs, witnessing a 21% increase. Additionally, sub-Saharan Africa exhibited the highest growth rate among world regions, with Ghana joining the list of the top 25 countries sending the most students! All this shows that the effect of the pandemic is almost gone now.

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​SpaceX vs DOJ: The Judge Sided With SpaceX​

A court ruling favoring SpaceX in an immigrant-related employment discrimination lawsuit could set a precedent for companies. The DOJ sued SpaceX, alleging discrimination against asylees and refugees. SpaceX countered, claiming the DOJ's process was unconstitutional. The judge agreed with SpaceX, citing constitutional violations. If upheld, this ruling may impact how employers handle DOJ investigations related to immigrant employment practices.​
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β€‹πŸŽ UNlock: Relevant resources

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​Free Webinar: Relocating to Canada with Syndesus (ft. Maitrayee Sohni) [Nov 30th, 6.30 PM PST]​

Like many immigrants, Maitrayee came to the US to study and work. But, also like many immigrants, she didn't get picked in the H-1B lottery three times in a row. She didn't want to go back to India, so she did something interesting: she moved to Canada while retaining her US job by working with Syndesus. Currently, she is a Canadian permanent resident! (This webinar is being conducted as part of the Unshackled online community.)

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​[In-person event] Unshackled Community Meetup in Bay Area [Dec 12th, 6.00 PM PST]​

​unshackled.club and ImmigrantFirst.ai are joining forces to host an end-of-the-year gathering for high-skilled immigrants in the Bay Area, with a focus on those aspiring toward an extraordinary visa (O1/EB1/NIW). We're curating the event so you get the most out of it. Please apply to secure a spot, and come in with the goal of connecting with other extraordinary immigrants! Light refreshments will be provided.

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​[Masterclass] Ace the "Judging" criteria for your O1/EB1 [02 Dec & 03 Dec 2023 09:00 AM PST] ​
Aditi Paul, an EB-1B recipient, is conducting a 2-day masterclass to help you satisfy the "judging" criteria. This is the criteria that immigration attorney Sameer Khedekar says is the "lowest hanging fruit of EB1!" The masterclass is led by 3 EB-1 recipients: a professor of computer science at the University of North Carolina, a business strategist at Coca-Cola, and a senior engineer at NVIDIA. Use code "community1" to save 5%.​

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πŸͺ„ UNveil: This week’s sponsor

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πŸ‘‰ Want to put yourself in front of 9500+ high-skilled immigrants? Just hit reply to start a conversation.

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

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Exciting update: We're all done with the "Extraordinary Visa Library" project! I sat down to record an in-depth interview with 10 past recipients of the O1, EB1, and EB-2 NIW visas. We'll begin launching the case studies one by one within the community starting this week.

In other news: I've decided to migrate the community away from Circle.so into Slack, while building a native site where we host all of our courses, guides, events, and resources!

This way, we go where the people are already (Slack) while also building our own interface to improve the experience.

Besides the above, here's what's been brewin' in our community the past week:

  • ​Free webinar on moving to Canada: Thinking about moving to the North? This webinar is for you. We're bringing in an immigrant who moved from the US to Canada while maintaining her US job, and eventually getting Canadian PR.
  • ​Free in-person event in the Bay Area: Do you live in the Bay Area? Want to meet 50 awesome immigrants all working toward the same goal? And want to say hi to me in person? This is your chance! Apply to join an upcoming Unshackled event.
  • ​How do I start a company on an F1 visa? was one of the discussion questions within our community last week!
  • Launching the first Case Study: 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. We're launching the first one from the vault tomorrow within the community.
  • GPT4-backed O-1 profile-evaluation tool is underway: 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.

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As a FINAL reminder, if you join the community as an Annual Member before the end of tomorrow, you get quadruple benefit:

  • $100 off on the Annual Membership
  • Free 30-min consult with me (worth $125),
  • Free access to my course on how to plan with Notion (worth $200), and
  • A surprise gift from me :)

Use the coupon code "THANKSGIVING" while purchasing a membership, and DM me within the community to claim the other rewards!

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Join 300+ & claim rewards worth $400+

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Until next week, stay wonderful.

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Yours truly,

Soundarya πŸ’š

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