A Startup Detours…

Guest Post by Lakshya Datta, founder of Launchora

My name is Lakshya Datta. Some of you may remember me from the guest post I did for Tiffany a few weeks ago titled “The Allure of The Founder”.

The time, as I begin writing this, is about 2:06 AM on December 5, 2013. I arrived home in San Diego just a couple hours ago from San Francisco where I was visiting extended family. Tomorrow is my last teaching day at San Diego State University, before Final exams next week.

As usual, I began my day with going on the www.uscis.gov website and checking the status of my H1b Work Visa petition. I am an Indian citizen who has been in the United States since August 2007. I completed a Bachelors in Science degree in Management Science from University of California, San Diego in 2011. I’m currently living in the US on a work permit attached to my student visa (F1), which is expiring on December 31, 2013. That’s about 25 days away.

About 8 months ago, or 247 days ago to be specific since that is the number I count every day, I applied for the H1b visa through my startup, Launchora. I’m not going to get into the why-what-how here, but simply tell you where things are now.

Back to today. I woke up this morning and checked my visa status. When I had applied for the visa, the USCIS (the government entity that decides whether you get the visa or not) stated that they will provide me with a yes or no decision by September 30, 2013. On August 23, 2013  they informed my company that they need more paperwork as evidence to make the decision. My company and I complied. On October 7, 2013, they received the paperwork and stated that they will inform me (and Launchora) with a decision within 60 days. Those 60 days end this Friday, December 6, 2013.

This morning, just 2 days before the 60 days end, I checked my status and it was still in review. I exhaled and waited for the next day, the same thing I’ve been doing for the previous 246 days. When I reached home tonight, I checked my status again (about 30 minutes ago) and was informed that they have denied my visa application. The formal decision letter and the reasoning will be mailed to Launchora within 15 days.

Now, since I’ve only had about 30 minutes to process this, I have a few things fighting for thought and attention in my head. If you’d let me, I’d like to give you a breakdown of those thoughts in the order in which they were thought…

Okay, that happened

It was really a 50-50 chance buddy

Let’s figure out the alternatives

Maybe the USCIS system made a glitch and when I receive the actual letter it will be an approval

Probably not, the government doesn’t have glitches!

So what? Not getting to continue your career in the country you have spent age 17-24 isn’t the end of the world…

…Literally, there are more countries out there

Call your parents, be honest, be strong, be you, be better

Write it down and try to share your story, since that is what your idea and company represent

That pretty much brings us to this moment, right here. Here is what I can tell you – I will figure it out. Tomorrow (today, actually) will be the beginning of a new struggle. One I aim to face with all the strength I have.

Here’s another thing I can tell you. Actually this is more of a statement and a promise, because why not! The next time I write anything publicly (or, internet-ally) will be via Launchora – a platform I still envision to be a safe haven and outlet for any writer, any story. This company – this idea – has been my rock for the past 247 days (and many more before then) and it has yet to let me down. And with no barriers anymore – geographically at least – I am going to be Launchora’s rock and bring it to life, just as planned.

I’ll see you on another day, another way.

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2 thoughts on “A Startup Detours…

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