Don’t waste your time and money trying to keep up with U.S. immigration.

Unshackled #49: last email of 2023

Published 4 months ago • 4 min read


Happy Wednesday. ✨

Soundarya here, from Unshackled. :)

We did it. We got through another year. You got through another year.

If you've been with us since newsletter #1, I can't thank you enough. We grew this newsletter from 0 to almost 10,000 people this year. Writing this every week taught me so much about immigration, policy, news, and people. Thank you for that. I hope you found value too.

This will be the last newsletter of 2023. I'll be taking a break for a few weeks, and I hope you do too. The next time you hear from me will be the first week of January 2024.

Before we jump in, I want to thank our sponsors F1 Hire and The Moment who made this newsletter free for all. And, I'm delighted to welcome 43 new subscribers to our newsletter since last week. We're 9580 members strong now! 🙏

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

The January Visa Bulletin is here... and there's good news!

The January 2024 Visa Bulletin is out! After months of no change, the EB-1 final action dates have finally moved forward for Indian immigrants, from January 2017 to September 2020. Further, the EB-5 dates have also been moved by two years from December 2018 to December 2020 for Indian immigrants. There are also some marginal forward movements in final action dates across EB-2 and EB-3 for Indian and Chinese immigrants. Check it out!

Recap: Visa fee increase will kick in the new year 2024

If you weren't aware, USCIS proposed increasing visa fees across almost every category out there, including the H-1B, O-1, L-1, EB-5, and more. This was proposed all the way back in January 2023. Over 6000 people commented on this proposal, with a huge chunk fighting against this change. USCIS has now taken the time to go over the feedback and a final decision is expected in December or January 2024, with changes effective 60-90 days later. Stay tuned.

U.S. Employment-Based Green Cards Tilted Towards Family Members, Cato Institute Report Finds

A report by the Cato Institute reveals that family members received a significant 55% of U.S. employment-based (EB) green cards in 2022. Despite an annual cap of 140,000, the government issued 270,284 EB green cards, with nearly 60,000 expected to shift from family-based to employment-based categories in 2023. The U.S. deviates from the global norm by having family members share the same green card pool as skilled workers. The report suggests solutions such as exempting family members from the cap or creating a new category to allocate more green cards to skilled workers.

🎁 UNlock: Relevant resources

[Extraordinary Visa Library] EB-2 NIW As A Civil Engineer: Kamlesh Khatri's Journey

Kamlesh Khatri's journey from studying Structural Engineering in the U.S. to tackling job uncertainties led him to the EB-2 NIW route for immigration. In this podcast interview, he shares his experiences, emphasizing that this visa isn't just for highly experienced individuals. He highlights the importance of persistence, networking, and finding the right lawyer in navigating the immigration process. (This was originally published within the Unshackled online community.)

[Free webinar] The H-1B Chronicles: Unlocking Employer-Employee Relationships and Part-Time Possibilities [Dec 14th, 12PM PST]

Dive into the complexities of employer-employee relationships & part-time H-1Bs in this webinar, hosted by Alcorn Immigration Law. Gain valuable insights and practical guidance on how to navigate these challenges while maintaining compliance with H-1B regulations. I recommend this especially if you're a (co)-founder.

[Free Webinar] EB1A For Founders with Dr. Aditi Paul [Dec 16th, 9.00 AM PST]

Another webinar for founders! Learn from Bestie Andafa-Atti, a Nigerian Founder's success story, gaining approval while on a B1 visa, and discover how to position your journey as "Extraordinary." Also hear from Tsui Yee, a seasoned immigration attorney in New York City. She will share 2 decades of expertise in immigration law. Gain valuable insights and strategies from her extensive experience in navigating the EB1-A visa process.

🪄 UNveil: This week’s sponsor

  • Want to gift a meaningful book to a friend, or yourself? Enter The Moment. Written by Columbia University professor Chuck Garcia, The Moment teaches you the power of emotional intelligence & stoicism through captivating stories of people who overcame grave adversity. I didn't just read the early manuscript, but also gave a review that's on its back cover! Get your copy today.

👉 Want to put yourself in front of 9500+ high-skilled immigrants? Just hit reply to start a conversation. We've opened sponsorship slots for 2024!

🥳 UNshackled: What's happening in the community?

6 months ago, we launched out into the world.

We grew from 0 to 320 members.

We had 15 free events. 4 powerful masterclasses.

We onboarded 6 lawyers and 12 past recipients as mentors.

We launched a resource hub, a course, and an extraordinary visa library.

I personally witnessed 8 members getting their O1s and EB1s in these months. 💚

And, we ended the year by hosting our very first in-person, FREE event in San Francisco last evening.

All in all, it's been a wonderful year.

In 2024, we've got a lot more coming.

And whenever you're ready, use this private link to join our club for $539 ($60 off). It's only gonna get better. =)

Until next year, stay fabulous!!!

Yours truly,

Soundarya 💚

💡 None of the information shared in this newsletter is meant to be legal advice. If you're looking for legal advice, speak to a lawyer, or hit reply and let me know so I can connect you with one.

💫 UNcover: Picks from the internet

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