Tacy Nguyen, Houston 2022

When Huyen “Tacy” Nguyen opened the Houston branch of her international business in 2022, the occasion resembled an intricately arranged pageant, complete with Oscars-style carpets and costumed dancers.

Just as intricate are the services she offers under the business name My Viet Inc. at 10613 Bellaire Blvd. in the International Management District.

The company — with other locations in suburban Dallas and Saigon — works with clients on obtaining visas to enter the United States, becoming a student or worker or business owner or investor in the U.S., qualifying for employment in Canada, and more. This also includes matching prospective international students with the most appropriate colleges and schools.

But in contrast, Nguyen reduces her mission and business strategy to uncomplicated terms.

“I’m helping people come to the United States to embrace the American dream,” she said in her Houston office, whose colorful decor includes an American flag on a flagpole and a painting of the nation’s Founding Fathers.

Nguyen was careful to mention that her business is not licensed to provide legal services, as immigration attorneys do.

But, she said, she is certified as a paralegal and formerly worked as a licensed vocational nurse. She also said she has traveled to 32 nations — United Arab Emirates, India, Taiwan, and Morocco are on the list — partly to visit clients who are students there.

Nguyen was born in Hue, Vietnam, started learning to speak English there, and eventually settled in the Dallas area with her three sisters. Her obligations to her children made it too impractical for her to go to law school, she said.

Nguyen, 2nd from right, & staff

She eventually launched My Viet Inc. offices in Garland, Haltom and Arlington in northeast Texas and promoted the enterprise through a glamour-style magazine she launched.

Houston beckoned her to expand her business beyond her home base for obvious reasons: The city, typified by the International Management District, attracts people from around the world to succeed in business, and Houston has the second largest concentration of Vietnamese-Americans in the nation. (The largest is in southern California).

With the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic in the past, educational and business opportunities for her clients are expanding, Nguyen said. At the same time, she added, many of her potential clients lack the money and English-language skills to reach their goals in the U.S.

So she counsels them about how to improve their situations.

With her travels, family, and widespread businesses, Nguyen might be excused if she were to feel tugged in too many directions.

But, she said, she relies on meditation to stay centered.

“It’s just a technique to go back to yourself and see things clearly,” she said.

And this: “I believe in cause and effect — the law of nature — if you help someone, people are going to help you.”