Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Getting into a Mysore State of Mind

tl;dr : My wife & I will be based in Mysore, India over the next couple of years till both of us can move back to the US. 

I realized in early June that there was a serious miscalculation in our plans of settling in the US; that it would take 2-3 years more before my wife is allowed to come to the US thanks to some ridiculous immigration policies. Wasn't too happy about it; my very first reaction on learning this was "Eff this. I don't need all this trouble; I am going to India!". 

Explored quite a few options over the last few months to deal with this situation; the main ones being:
  • Petitioning to influence the US Congress to change the laws: Nothing much came of it as I wasn't able to gather significant number of signatures for the petition such that it could cause some shift. Also, I gave up on this option after realizing that the issue is really trivial when compared to the other competing issues.
  • Moving to Canada, particularly to Vancouver, for a couple of years: While I was very excited about this option, it became unviable as it turned out that the whole process to get a work visa in Canada would take at least 6 months.
In the end, me moving to India temporarily has emerged as the best option for us. And now that I am getting ready to fly to India this Saturday, I am realizing this option is turning out be a very good thing for us! 

Firstly, I will continue to work as a freelancer for my US based clients while I am in India. Financially, it's a win-win as I will be earning in USD, and spending in INR. :-)

Secondly, since I can work from anywhere, we have the freedom to be based anywhere in India. And we have chosen to be in Mysore, for a variety of reasons, some of the main ones being: (1). It will allow us to be at a distance from both our families in Bangalore. (2). We won't be too far (just a couple of hours away) from our families in Bangalore. (3). Mysore scores over Bangalore by having less traffic & less pollution, and (4). Mysore has a good software industry presence. There are handful of ruby programmers based in Mysore as well! It is quite possible there will be a Mysore Ruby User group soon ;-) "Mysore is a kind of a place which goes to sleep at 9pm". Yup, that is the kind of place I want to be in. 

Thirdly, I will be maintaining a presence in Colorado despite being based in India. I will have a home here as I am continuing to rent my place here in Longmont, and have plans to visit Colorado frequently (once or twice a year) to meet with my clients, and be in touch the Ruby community here. Right now, I have plans to be back in the US in Apr-May of next year, around the time of RailsConf in Portland. Will decide in a few months how long that trip will be for, and about the dates for my next trip to US.

I have also applied for a re-entry permit from USCIS; this will allow me to be outside US for up to 2 years without losing my Green-card status here in the US. 

Very excited about this brand new chapter in our life, about starting our married life for real soon, and about being in India over the next couple of years!