Indians in Houston
Common terms that get mixed

Common terms that get mixed

by Here Leaders Thrive

Common terms that get mixed
Get out of your own shell, get curious

Get out of your own shell, get curious

by Here Leaders Thrive

Fall is almost here. Get out of your homes, go out and enjoy summer (what’s left of it). Meet new people. Don’t wait for others to come talk to you. Take the lead, initiate! And when you do initiate, don’t just look for people from your own cultural background, your own city / country. Remember, among other things, you are here to learn and grow. And you CANT grow from what you already know you can do. Peace!
Politics: To speak or to not speak?

Politics: To speak or to not speak?

by Here Leaders Thrive

Happy Friday! With all the exciting awesomeness of news around the world, including domestic political debates raging from both sides of the fence, it may feel tempting to join in on some of those topics. Especially if you’re into politics or happen to have opinions. But resist the urge to get involved & check your urge to PICK A SIDE in American politics as a new comer to the US. This includes those that have been here for a long time - if you do not fully understand the underlying emotions of topics on either side. On the flip side, if you are passionate about politics and love to take about it, feel free to discuss politics from your own country all you want (of course avoiding comparisons with the US landscape). This particularly applies to your social media life. Enjoy the weekend friends!
Safe Driving Tips for New Immigrants

Safe Driving Tips for New Immigrants

by Here Leaders Thrive

Driving Do’s and Dont’s for new arrivals in the US As someone who has driven well over 150,000 miles across America, including most metros and rural America, these are some of my observations and tips, which I hope will help you become a good and SAFE driver, whether you are commuting to and from work, or exploring some of the most beautiful and scenic roadways of this great country. Remember. You represent the country you are from. If you are a bad driver, that’s the impression you create for the rest of your country men and women in America (and people remember the not so good stuff more than the good stuff). 1) MERGING ONTO A FREEWAY: When you are merging onto the freeway, it is your responsibility to match the speed of traffic. Trying to get on at a higher or lower speed disrupts traffic. It makes the other person have to judge if they need to speed up and pass you or slow down for you or change lanes to avoid you. Each of those affect the rest of traffic. I say this because, a lot of drivers don’t accelerate on the on-ramp to a highway—instead, they maintain their speed on the on-ramp and accelerate AFTER they’ve ENTERED the highway. Please, PLEASE do not do this. 2) Be an engaged driver. Put down the phone, book, whatever, at the red light and pay attention. Notice the lines on the road. Move up to the line at the light. Be engaged with driving while driving. 3) Use your turn signals. Be predictable. The people behind you are in their own cars and don’t read minds. 4) Space yourself appropriately: Do not ride people’s asses (meaning, do not tail them). Give a car length or while in motion (the official guidance is 1 car length for every 10 miles of your speed. 50 miles = 5 cars length). 5) Check for cars before switching lanes. I see this all the time: some one in the right lane puts on his/her turn signal and just starts moving over into the other lane. Put the turn lights on BEFORE you start moving over to the other lane. 6) Allow others to merge. That turned on signal doesn’t mean speed up. Don’t be the douche that drives in their blind spot and then won’t let them in when they want to get over. 7) Don’t pace the car next to you. Known as the “holding hands” in the southern states. Either pass or fall back. Don’t drive the same speed as the car next to you especially when you are in the RIGHT lane. It blocks both lanes of traffic and prevents the faster cars from getting around you. 8) Slow drivers, get out of the left lane. LEFT LANE IS FOR PASSING. How do you know if you are going too slow? When people start passing you on the right. Especially if it’s more than one car. 8) Move over into the turn lane where it starts, not half way down. All turn lanes have a start. Start moving into the lane at that point instead of waiting until you see the solid lines and then moving over. 9) If you pull out in front of someone, don’t STALL! Don’t pull out in front of another car and putter along. Get up to the speed limit. 10) Don’t block intersections. Don’t enter an intersection if you’re not sure you’ll be able to pass through it. Scenario: the traffic beyond the light is stopped, but you have the green so you, and the two cars behind you, go into the intersection…and then have to stop. Then the light changes and the traffic in the other direction can’t do anything because you and the other two cars have just blocked the intersection totally. This is how traffic jams are created. It’s also a surefire way to create road rage. In NYC and many other metros, you WILL get points (those points are given to high risk drivers and you’ll pay more of car insurance too) 11) If you are at a light, please space your car appropriately. There is no need for a bus length between you and the next car. Again, this is how to create a traffic jam. No need to tail, either. 12) Don’t be afraid to pass a semi (common term for 18 wheelers or Long Trucks) on the highway. Yes they are big, they can be scary, but if you speed up a little, you’ll get past them in no time. 13) Don’t cut off semis, either. They don’t have the stop-on-a-dime abilities your car does. 14) Invest in a pair of sunglasses. They don’t have to be expensive. But it might just save on the sunny day accidents that seem to happen more often than the rainy day ones. 15) Parking lots are not highways. A parking lot is not the time to go faster than what you were doing on the actual road. People walk in parking lot, so be careful. Also, follow the arrows in the parking lot and don’t drive in the opposite direction of the arrow. 16) Don’t cut across the empty spots in a parking lot. Sometimes we all do this, but make sure that there are no other cars coming your way. I’ve actually had to honk at people who have done this and were going to cause an accident. You should see how surprised they were. Not cool. I hope this guide helps you become a better driver, quickly. Feel free to ask questions, so others may benefit.
Do’s and donts for newly arrived immigrants

Do’s and donts for newly arrived immigrants

by Here Leaders Thrive

Learning to feel at home, away from home Dos and donts for newly arrived immigrants (Indians in particular) Welcome homeis to the greatest country on earth. America, in general is quite accustomed to having immigrants come in each year. It is after all, a country made up OF immigrants and hence you will find most people are helpful most of the times. Yet, there are things that might be prudent for you to avoid. I put this guide together so as to shorten your learning curve when it comes to the culture, ways of life and some of the more common scenarios you are likely to come across. This guide will also hopefully help you stay clear of any misunderstandings (and they do tend to happen, with Indians especially largely due to the cultural differences) · Do say “Hi” with a subtle smile when asked "How are you". You do not need to explain in detail since this is a polite form of greeting in America similar to hello. Simply respond that you are fine or well or say “I’m well, and you?" is sufficient. Then quickly move on about your business or get to the topic you wish to speak about. · Space or personal bubble. Americans are very particular about their personal space or bubble. If you are an immigrant, be sure to stay one foot away from the other person pretty much anywhere you are at. In queues, inside an elevator etc. I say this because it is EXTREMELY annoying and intrusive to have your backpack or belonging or even your tummy (think guys with beer bellies) rubbing into someone standing before you (say in the plane while deplaning) · Avoid discussing politics if at all possible. It's easy to not realize what a minefield this can be. · When in a restaurant do not sit at an occupied table that has a vacant chair. · Do not talk with food in your mouth. Finish chewing and swallow it. Others will understand what you are doing. · Very Important (Tipping): Leave a tip for your waiter at a restaurant of 15% - 20%. Every DINE in restaurant. Meaning, anywhere you are seated and you are being served. This is important because waiters are often not paid a salary and survive almost entirely on the tips they receive. And they have to share this with the chef too. Therefore UNDER TIPPING or not leaving a tip is rude. It will be noticed. While many Americans resent tipping too you should not take sides in the discussion by refusing to tip. · The tipping does not apply at a fast food restaurant. You do not need to tip there. · Obey all laws and rules. Americans take this seriously. Speeding by about 5 to 10 mph over the posted speed limit may be forgiven but everything else, don’t disobey the laws. · Carry your passport copy and / or your immigration documents (copy at a minimum) anytime you leave your residence. It was recently made a law. If you get stopped and are asked for it, promptly show it to the law enforcement officer. · What ever you do, do not EVER argue or talk back at a police officer. Especially when you get pulled over. Don’t panic or freak out – this will only make the officer nervous. Be polite, answer the question and obey whatever is told to you. Remain calm and do NOT make sudden movements. And don’t get out of the car (as you would in India) – that may not be a smart thing. Place your hands on the steering wheel where it can be seen and remain calm. · Address the police officer as “Officer” · If there are no ash trays don't smoke. When in doubt don't smoke. When smoking do not throw your butts on the ground. · I see this quite so often. Do not engage in loud conversations with your friends anywhere (including hallways, cafeteria or in public places where it’s quite) This is important and it is easy to not realize you are annoying people with behavior that is, for instance, normal in most cities in India · It is considered (and expected) that you hold the door until the next person gets a hold of the door. Not doing so and letting the door close on someone’s face is rude. You wont make any friends that way · Do not ever comment on someone's weight, nor smell bad · DO USE deodorant please (including you, ladies). Don’t smell like a fish · Don't pick your nose in public · Pay attention at how people stare at you, take note of how you are behaving. One means of social control in America is a hard stare. · When making purchases resist the urge to haggle (bargain over the price). In the US store prices are inflexible and the clerk does not have the authority to lower the posted price (the exceptions are high ticket items such as houses, cars and so on) · Do not flaunt your accomplishments, this is considered bragging and is a social gaffe. Although Indians and some Europeans will disagree Americans are generally modest about their successes. · Do not ask nor reveal incomes. · When in doubt take your lead from what other people do. But be careful not to complain about America to an American (Americans like to sometimes complain themselves, but a non-American doing this could make someone VERY angry VERY quickly).
ICE is at your door. What do you do?

ICE is at your door. What do you do?

by homeis

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — the federal law enforcement agency in charge of arresting, detaining, and deporting undocumented immigrants or documented immigrants with criminal convictions — is reportedly begiun nationwide raids, potentially impacting thousands of immigrant families.

Dealing with law enforcement can be stressful, so it’s important to know your rights before you’re face-to-face with ICE agents. While there’s never any guarantee that law enforcement officers will follow the law, here’s what they can and can’t legally do to you and what you can legally demand.

Don’t Open the Door:

Like police, ICE can’t enter your home without a warrant signed by a judge. You can ask ICE to slide their document under the door, if they have one, to determine whether or not it's a judicial warrant.

Ask to Speak to a Lawyer:

A good immigration lawyer can help guide clients through the complicated and often confusing system of immigration law, so find one in your area and discuss your status with them, not with law enforcement. If you're at risk, try to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Immigration Lawyer Search lets you specify what kind of immigration law you need help with, i.e., “Deportation - Removal,” and search your local area if you enter a city name or zip code; you can even search by last name if you’re familiar with a lawyer in your area by name but not sure how to find them.

Remain Silent or Tell ICE You Wish to Do So:

You have the right to remain silent in any interaction with an ICE agent, and you can tell them so. What you say can be used against you in immigration court or deportation proceedings, so always be cautious of what you say to ICE or law enforcement and ask to speak to a lawyer before any communication takes place.

Don’t Sign Anything:

Unless you’ve already spoken to a lawyer who advises it you shouldn’t sign any documents ICE asks you to. According to the Miami Herald, signing a document provided by ICE may mean you’re signing your own deportation order.

Don’t Lie or Provide False Documents:

Lying to ICE agents can be dangerous. Providing false documents can be used against you in court proceedings.

Don’t Flee or Resist Arrest:

If you run from ICE, the results can be deadly not just legally dangerous. People who help an immigrant escape ICE can be charged with things like obstruction of justice by the Department of Justice, as was the case with a judge who let an immigrant escape after a court hearing. People who attempt to physically stop an arrest can also be charged with resisting a public officer.

You Don’t Have to Tell Them Where Someone Else Is:

You’re under no obligation to tell ICE where someone they’re looking for is, but you shouldn’t lie. Instead, ask the agents to leave contact information.

You’re Allowed to Ask for an Interpreter:

If an immigrant placed under arrest is not an English-speaker, they can ask for an interpreter during their detention process with ICE.

You Should Make a Plan With Family or Loved Ones:

In the event you are detained, it’s wise to have an action plan in place to handle any immediate concerns like child and pet care, and long-term issues like home maintenance and collecting mail. Attorneys also advise that loved ones have on hand the name and contact information for an attorney so they can make contact in the event of an arrest.

Keep Learning and Building Networks:

No one resource can prepare you for every possible ICE raid. But massive compilations of resources that cover workplace considerations, community preparedness, and more are available online from the information service Informed Immigrant and as collaboration projects between immigration groups.

Stay Safe homeis!

Visa-free travel for Indians with US Visa

Visa-free travel for Indians with US Visa

by homeis

An Indian passport allows you to travel visa free to a few countries like Nepal, Bhutan, HongKong, parts of the Caribbean and even Ecuador and Haiti! However, your Indian Passport does not give you the same travel privileges that your American friends enjoy.

Thankfully, your US visa adds more power to your travel plans. Your US Visa can enable you to travel visa free to several amazing destinations worldwide. 

Countries to which you can easily travel with your US Visa:

  1. Aruba: Indian citizens with a valid US Visa can stay up to 30 days)
  2. Albania: Valid multiple entry USV isa lets you stay up to 90 days 
  3. Antigua and Barbuda: You can get a visa on arrival if you have a valid visa for the USA or Canada
  4. Bermuda: US multiple entry visa holders can stay up to 90 days
  5. Belize: No visa required for holders of multiple entry USA Visa holders however Indian nationals have to pay a repatriation fee.
  6. Colombia: Visa not required for Indians with a valid US Visa
  7. Costa Rica: 30 days for valid US visa holders
  8. Dominican Republic: 90 days for holders of a valid US Visa
  9. Georgia: 90 days for holders of valid US Visa
  10. Guatemala: No visa required for holders of valid US Visa
  11. Honduras: Visa free entry to holders of a valid US visa
  12. Mexico: No visa required for valid US visa holders for tourist or even business purposes
  13. Montenegro: 30 days for valid US visa holders
  14. Nicaragua: 90 days with a fee of USD 20 for valid US visa holders
  15. Northern Marianas: No visa required for US visa holders as it is part of the US commonwealth
  16. Panama: No visa required for valid US visa holders
  17. Philippines: 14 days visa free for valid US visa holders
  18. Puerto Rico: No visa required for valid US visa holders
  19. Serbia: No visa required for 90 days for valid US visa holders 
  20. Taiwan : 30 day online travel authority available to Indians with valid US visa 

Happy Travels!

Share your Business Promotions!

Share your Business Promotions!

by homeis

Think of an offer or deal that will appeal to your community. Be creative! Or if you have one already, use this channel to tell everyone about it.

Here, business owners can share your best deals to your community and reach shoppers who are looking for you.

To create a Special Deal Post, simply click Post in this Channel and promote your business, products or service to all the homeis shoppers in the community.

To share you promotion with the community, click HERE!

How do I build credit in the US?

How do I build credit in the US?

by MYRA Wealth

When you are immigrating to the United States, it is natural to want to land on strong financial footing. However, all immigrants face a common barrier: a lack of US credit history. This can impede your ability to get approved for a credit card, apply for a mortgage, or engage in other types of financial transactions. While it’s possible to use cash day-to-day, it is a good idea to begin building a credit history as soon as possible. Building credit can make it easier to apply for a mortgage, get a car loan, rent an apartment, or get a rewards credit card. Even if you aren’t looking to do those things now, you might want to in the future.

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