This month we finalize our attorneys’ travelogue describing their journey through India that we started in last month’s newsletter. As you probably already know, during these events, the VisaPro immigration attorneys traveled to five different cities in India to present substantive and comprehensive information on business immigration issues to a wide-ranging audience.
After a great success and a brief break in Bangalore, we headed out for the next leg of our journey, the great city of Mumbai. Since Mumbai is a world-renowned city and a place that I grew up reading about in various books I was very excited for this next stop – needless to say that the visit, albeit short, did not disappoint. We held our event at the majestic ITC Grand Maratha Sheraton, a place that is made for kings. The locality was fantastic, right in the heart of the city and quite luxurious. The crowd that came was fabulous and the questions that we received were as challenging as ever. Unlike Bangalore, where a large majority of the attendees hailed from the tech industry, the Mumbai folks represented a wider spectrum of industry and offered a different perspective on the immigration issues faced by multinational companies. At the end of the eventful day, we rushed into great taxis and set off on our thrilling ride to the train station. The ride took about 40 minutes, but it reminded me more of an eternal roller coaster, out taxi dodged from one side to the next, squeezing between buses and trucks, while competing for the coveted prize of beating the other part of our team riding in another taxi. During that ride, there were numerous moments where my life flashed before my eyes and I was sure that I would not reach Ahmedabad.
The trip on the train from Mumbai to Ahmedabad was uneventful, the journey was comfortable, although I quickly learned that Indian train sleeping berths were not made for persons of my height. When we arrived in Ahmedabad, it was still early but the train station was bustling with activity. My favorite sight was two boys selling orange juice to the many people waiting for their trains – entrepreneurship at an early age. The seminar in Ahmedabad went great, the dynamics of the entire day were a bit different from the other places because there were fewer attendees, which allowed for more interaction during the presentation. Overall, I was very impressed by the knowledgeable audience and was happy to spend much time discussing various problems and issues that the attendee companies have faced while dealing with immigration and trying to expand operations to the U.S. At the end of the day, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to visit a Sikh temple, where both Thomas and I were warmly welcomed by the Sikhs and made feel at home. The experience was great and I very much liked the music that was being played at the temple. Everyone in Ahmedabad was quite hospitable and the whole city had a great feel. On our way to the airport we stopped by the place where Gandhi once lived and it was great to see the reverence that many people still have for the man.
Our final stop was New Delhi and it was a great finish to the journey. The venue was amazing — The Claridges Hotel and it offered many amenities. The hotel was absolutely beautiful and the staff was very courteous. This was our last seminar and so there was a bit more relaxed feeling to the presentation, and the audience reacted well. We had a very informative session and even though the crowd was fairly large numbering around 100 people, the session was quite interactive with questions and suggestions being exchanged during the event in an active fashion. Aside from the successful event, I must say that the food during the High Tea was fantastic. After the session we spent quality time with our attendees to make sure all questions were answered and then we slowly got ready for our trip back to the hotel and home. It was a great finale to a successful tour.
During the trip we all learned a lot, about the kinds of questions that companies have and about the problems that they face. It was a great experience that has shown us what works well and what could be improved and how to structure an even better set of events next year. Overall we were quite pleased. Our goal was accomplished — we traveled to six cities across India and we showed people the tricks of the immigration trade. We shared our experiences, listed to those of our attendees and provided answers to many immigration law queries. Often at the end of the day we came to a conclusion along with our attendees that certain problems are unavoidable and certain things cannot be explained, but we tried our best and at the end of the trip both Thomas and I felt that we accomplished our goal of spreading more knowledge and information about the way the U.S. immigration system works. We can’t wait to do it all over again next year.
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