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The Curious Maverick LLC recently conducted the “Unshackled Campus Tour“, a transformative initiative dedicated to educating and empowering highly skilled international students on the intricacies of the United States immigration system. This pioneering month-long journey visited 15 universities nationwide, which reached over 4000 students in person and engaged with over 15,000 virtually. One of the key points discussed during the campus tour was on “How to prepare for an O1 talent visa, options for students who got laid off, and alternatives to the H1B lottery”.This is a main issue faced by immigrants especially Indian students, who are striving to carve their niche in US. Some of the prime stops in the tour included Harvard University, UC Berkeley, UT Dallas, and a flagship event hosted in Boston, MA with over 500 registrants. The Boston event, along with many others on the tour, were free and open to the public to join, beyond international graduate students. The campus tour ended at the prestigious Stanford University in California which saw a huge turnout by Indian Students.

Author Soundarya Balasubramani interacting with the Students at the Unshackled Campus Tour in USA

The “Unshackled Campus Tour” was born out of the book “Unshackled“, authored by Soundarya Balasubramani (and Sameer Khedekar) as well as an online community filled with 400+ talent visa aspirants, both under the umbrella of The Curious Maverick LLC. The Unshackled book is the first one in the market that demystifies the complex U.S. immigration system in a manner that is friendly and accessible to international students and nonimmigrant workers. The book has been read by 3000+ high-skilled immigrants since its launch last year and has been praised by experts in the field, including Dr. Tyler Cowen, a noted American economist, who called it the “best and clearest attempt at explaining a complex and muddled immigration system”.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of students from India embark on a journey to study in the United States but are poorly armed with knowledge of the immigration system they are about to encounter. Ms. Balasubramani’s book, Unshackled, breaks down the system – and the myriad of pathways – in simple and humorous language that is accessible to everyone. “Reading this book was a pivotal moment for me,” notes Anurupa Sinha, one of the readers. “Not only did it give me the clarity to navigate my entrepreneurial journey, it also came with stories of others whod done this before.” She continues, “Honestly, I wish this book was given to me along with my visa stamp at the U.S. consulate.

This is not Ms. Balasubramani’s first attempt at simplifying and promoting talent mobility. She published her first book, Admitted, in 2020, aimed at helping study abroad aspirants by condensing the end-to-end process of getting into one’s dream university and preparing for the same. Admitted has been read by 5000+ aspirants and has a 4.8-star rating with over 500+ reviews across Amazon, Goodreads, and Google Playbooks. “I loved how Soundarya depicted not only the strategies and the skill sets required to pursue higher education efficiently but also the vulnerabilities and the dilemmas in doing so,” shares Varun Tiwari, one of the book’s many passionate readers.

With Unshackled, Ms. Balasubramani and her co-author, Sameer Khedekar, tackle something far more complex: the U.S. immigration system and the labyrinth of pathways within it. Most international students move to the United States assuming that the H-1B is their only option to stay back and work in the country. Ms. Balasubramani’s book, and the “Unshackled Campus Tour” initiative, is a way to equip international students with the knowledge of other pathways they can pursue along with the resources they need to secure their future in the United States (and beyond). The book (and the tour) gives into lesser-known pathways such as the O-1 extraordinary visa, cap-exempt H-1Bs, International Entrepreneur Parole, and others, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of their options post-graduation – both to work and start companies in the United States (and beyond).

Our mission with the Unshackled Campus Tour is to empower talented international students with the tools they need to navigate the complex landscape of U.S. immigration,” said Ms. Balasubramani. “By providing them with insights into various visa pathways and practical guidance on building their profiles, we aim to help these top students unlock their full potential and secure their place in the United States, Canada, and beyond.

The “Unshackled Campus Tour” will be accompanied by top lawyers and visa experts from esteemed firms, including MobSquad, a Canadian relocation startup, Bay Area Immigration, and Greenberg Traurig, both law firms based out of California, Gonzalez Olivieri LLC, a law firm based out of Texas, Summit Legal, a law firm based out of New York, and Banyan Law, a law firm based out of California. These partners will provide invaluable expertise and guidance to students throughout the tour.

By partnering with leading legal experts, were able to offer students unparalleled access to insights and advice on navigating the U.S. and Canadian immigration system,” said Ms. Balasubramani. “Together, were committed to empowering international students to achieve their academic and professional goals in the United States – and beyond.”

For students in India aspiring to one day move to the United States for education and more, make sure to keep a copy of Unshackled (and Admitted) by your side so you can rely on it to be your guiding hand as you navigate a complex and muddled system. This is more timely than ever, given the upcoming election season. Ms. Balasubramani’s books and now the tour serves as a beacon of stability and reassurance amid the uncertain political landscape, offering concrete guidance and resources to navigate potential policy changes.

About The Curious Maverick LLC

The Curious Maverick LLC is dedicated to promoting talent mobility across the world through the power of education, mentorship, and community. Through innovative programs, events, and partnerships, The Curious Maverick LLC strives to foster a supportive environment where international students and talent can thrive and achieve their academic and professional goals.

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