I’m sorry to say that I’m unable to take my workshops on tour around the US this summer. I’m not allowed to work there on a business/tourist visa, and I was too disorganized to obtain the visa that would permit me to work. It’s a shame, because I had set the months of August-September aside for this tour!
I’m disappointed, but not ready to give up.
My original plan was to handle ticket sales for the workshops myself using EventBrite. Some people have suggested that I might be able to present my workshops if they were organized by a company based in the US. I’m not sure how that gets around the visa issue, but if you know more than I do I’d be happy to hear your thoughts.
Another option that I’ve been considering is to make the workshops free, and to use Indiegogo to raise funds for the trip. For a small contribution, you could expect to receive a Vimcasts sticker or T-shirt. For a medium sized contribution, you could expect a signed copied of Practical Vim. And for a premium contribution, you could attend one of my workshops. Again, I’m uncertain whether “gifts” in return for “donations” are legally distinct from “goods” in return for a “fee”. If you can advise me (or know someone who can), I’d be pleased to know more.
If I could obtain the proper visa, then things would be much more straighforward. As I understand it, the O1 visa for extraordinary individuals would permit me to run my workshops in the US. It’s not an easy visa to obtain, but the fact that I’ve written a book might just make me extraordinary enough.
September dates in the US
Even though I’m not allowed to organize my own workshops in the US, it’s fine if they run as part of a conference there. In late September, I’ll be making the most of that loophole. I’m running my Vim masterclass at the Rocky Mountain Ruby Conference on September 19th, then again at the Strange Loop conference on September 23rd.
I’d love to run more workshops in the US, but the visa issue makes it difficult. If you have any thoughts on how I might bring my workshops to the US, I’d be happy to hear them. Please leave a comment below, or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, I’m enjoying a bit of a holiday in Iceland (which is as close to the US as I dare venture!) My wife has accepted an offer to study a post-graduate course at the London School of Economics, starting this October, so we’ll be moving to London. As soon as the Olympics is over, we’ll start looking for a place to live. Now that I’ve finished Practical Vim, I hope that I’ll be able to find a bit more time for making Vimcasts again. Believe me, I’ve got a lot of material that didn’t make it into the book!