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A Rendezvous with India: Immigration Seminars and Training
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This month and next, Attorneys Thomas Joy and Jan Krasny will share some of the experiences related to their travels in India for the VisaPro workshops and training session. During these events, the VisaPro legal team traveled to five different cities in India to present substantive and comprehensive information on business immigration issues.

For me, Jan Krasny, the experience of arriving in India was amazing and I was struck by the professionalism and hard-working attitude of my new Indian colleagues. My trip to India was a new experience, and even though I have traveled extensively across Europe and have spent time in South America, India was a completely new and unique place. My senses were overwhelmed by the barrage of new sights, smells and sounds. Aside from some of the food, which I have sampled in the U.S., every other aspect of Indian society was new. The two weeks after my arrival kept me in a tender balance between preparing for our workshops and maintaining my health as a result of sudden drastic change in climate, food and surroundings. Thomas, who presented at the VisaPro workshops last year, was better prepared for the new surroundings and upon landing fondly remembered his edge-of-the-seat, hair-raising experience riding in an auto rickshaw the year before.

On February 14, the first workshop finally arrived and the weeks of preparation came to fruition. The workshop was held at the Hotel Tulip Manohar and upon arrival both the attorneys were very impressed by the venue -- the ballroom was well prepared and the snacks during the tea break were excellent. Each day approaching the first workshop in Hyderabad came and went faster than the day before and the first actual workshop ended in what seemed like a matter of seconds. Both my and Thomas' favorite part of the workshop was meeting the attendees and discussing their individual immigration issues. One of the event's strengths is the ample amount of time that we were able to spend with each attendee, both during the session as part of the Q&A, but also during the high tea and after the event. The workshop's 123 attendees were a great group of people who hailed from a vast variety of businesses both in terms of size and industry sectors and many of them were quite familiar with U.S. immigration laws. For the entire VisaPro team meeting the attendees in person was a wonderful experience and the energy during the event was astounding. Thomas was very happy and felt that "People were highly responsive and the participation throughout the event was great."

Immediately after the event the VisaPro team rushed to the airport and jumped on a plane heading for Bangalore, a new city for Jan and the place where we planned to hold a unique full-day training event. This was the first event of its kind in India and we were hoping that it would be a success; we knew that it would take hard work and determination, but all of us were ready to meet the challenge.

Bangalore is a city that has a character of its own. The streets are filled with people from around the world and our legal team stayed at a quaint hotel on a street that resembles a Bangalore version of the New York's Time Square. Many different shops of various international brands lined the streets and the energy was very high. In the morning after our evening arrival we took a cab to Le Meridien Hotel, a very beautiful venue in the center of the city. What ensued was a high-paced, full day program featuring comprehensive coverage of the H and L visa requirements with a review of B visa issues and an introduction to Green Cards. Since this was a training day, we started early in the morning at 8:30 am and worked throughout the day until 6:00 pm. Because the experience from previous seminars and workshop has shown the importance of interaction and activities, we kept up the interest by providing a lot of time for Q&As and breaks for one-on-one discussions. At each break, we went to work and tried to answer as many questions as we could, while enjoying a great cup of coffee and delicious snacks. Even though there were over a hundred attendees at the event, the activities and breaks gave us time to meet everyone and interact with them. As a testament to our hard work, we were happy to see that at the end of the day more than 85% of the attendees were still present and asking substantive and interesting questions.

Finally for the first time since landing in India, our team had their first break. We were to remain in Bangalore for a couple of days before moving-on to our next venue and so Thomas and I spent some time playing the part of tourists and visiting the Museum of Technology and the aquarium in the city. From the U.S. perspective, the thing that summed up the experience in India so far was a photo in the museum's aerospace section showing a multi-million dollar satellite being towed on a wooden cart by an ox. This picture offered a glimpse into India and its culture - a country that is marvelously complex, retaining traditional methods of transportation and at the same time moving at the speed of light into the future by being at the cutting-edge of innovation. During the time spent in Bangalore, we were able to enjoy wonderful southern Indian dishes served on banana leafs with a variety of spices that to were truly unique. Finally, Thomas and I also learned that the best way to end a great meal is with paan, which our VisaPro colleagues assured us has medicinal purposes.

Next on the agenda for our great tour through India were Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Delhi, but those experiences we will recount in the next newsletter. For now, just rest assured that our experiences and the Workshops were a great success. Though there was a time in Mumbai, when both Thomas and I felt like the trip (and our lives) would come to a premature end. But more about that in our next month's newsletter...

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