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How does it feel to leave your family for the sake of your dream job in America

This software developer has abandoned everything familiar to ensure his family financial stability in the future. Having flown to 2014 in the United States for a master’s degree, Shrinat Kutula not only got on a plane for the first time. For the first time in his life he was separated from his family.

Фото: Depositphotos

But in the 17 years, after the death of his mother from lung cancer, Cattula was determined to improve the economic fate of his family - even if it would take him to the other end of the world.

During those three years, while his mother was ill, the family had to sell the house to pay for the treatment, and move into rental housing.

How to find meaning after a crushing loss

“I certainly wanted to be the engine of the family economically,” he says.

Ketula was a computer science genius: he said he entered five percent of the best bachelor graduates in his stream at the College of Engineering. But if at home the usual salary in engineering positions is only 15,000 dollars a year, in America it exceeds 100,000 dollars. Therefore, he applied for master's programs in the United States.

Cattula was admitted to the master's program in computer science at Northern Illinois University in De Kalbe; he received student visa F -1and also achieved full tuition and a monthly scholarship of 1,300 dollars as an undergraduate assistant. But all his expenses were not covered by even a full scholarship. Therefore, his family, already already constrained in funds, took a loan of 10,000 dollars from the bank in order to pay, for example, fees for entrance exams and submitting an application, a flight to the USA and a deposit for an apartment in which he settled with three other students .

He also had personal losses. Upon arrival at the university, he said, "I felt lonely in half the cases." The hardest thing was to eat alone, and not with relatives, like at home.

When everything falls into place

Life began to improve when Kattula in the summer of 2015 got a place as an intern on Facebook, where he was paid 8,400 dollars per month (plus free housing) and he got the opportunity to repay his family’s credit. “It was a dream company,” says Kuttula and adds that he applied for a vacancy directly on Facebook on the fall before starting work, and before that he went for a few interviews to the “medium-sized company” for practice.

Cattula admits that his older friends and fellow students helped him in everything, from studying the basics of computer science before writing a “statement of learning objectives” for admission to American educational institutions, he also says that he used the Quora question and answer site, trying to figure out how to get summer internship in Silicon Valley and how best to prepare for interviews with companies like Amazon, Google, Linkedin and Uber.

He got his first full-time job in March at 2016 of the year at the mobile development company Machine Zone in Palo Alto, but he did not manage to get one of the H-85,000B 1 visas annually granted to US foreign workers. Not surprisingly, given that in 2016, the desired working visas, valid for up to three years and issued arbitrarily during the lottery in April of each year, were served by about 236,000 people. Companies often help employees with H-1B visas obtain a residence permit, paving them road to citizenship.

Read more material ForumDaily: Everything you need to know about US work visas

Getting a work visa in the United States is one of the ways to legally live in this civilized state and get a decent salary. Illustration ForumDaily

It so happened that in the 2017 year, Cattula won the H-1B visa lottery and was able to pay his family for the same year. “I then experienced very strong emotions,” he says. Now, working in a startup WePaywho is involved in electronic payments, he in his 25 years, by his own admission, earns more than 100,000 dollars a year as a software developer and defers 30% of salary (along with contributions to the program 401 (k)), sends money to his family, and finally bought a car, Honda Accord, and stopped driving to work on other people's cars. “Until last year, I was spending money very carefully,” he says and adds that he bought this car only after receiving a work visa. Since arriving in the US, he has been at home once, and rarely takes time off from work.

The process of obtaining a work visa is complicated

Although Kuttula, like the tens of thousands of other Indian citizens who have H-1B visas, lives dreaming about Silicon Valley, it’s likely that it will be more difficult to get such opportunities in the future.

To approve his candidacy for an H-1B visa, a foreign worker must show his or her suitability to work in a particular position in a specialty that requires at least a bachelor's degree. H-1B visas have about 15% of Facebook employees, as shown by a Reuters analysis conducted in 2017.

After Donald Trump took office in 2017, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services began to increasingly refuse to issue visas. The number of requests for evidence of the applicant's suitability to work in an already existing position in a particular specialty increased by 45% last year, Reuters reported. Such requests may delay the issuance of visas for up to five months, noted Annuloise Padilla, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

The number of applications satisfied each year cannot change without Congress approval, but final approval after winning the lottery “is much more difficult, and all non-immigrant visas [including H-1B] go through what the administration calls a thorough peer review,” - Padilla added.

“The candidatures of the Indians who are applying for H-1B definitely began to be considered more meticulous,” Padilla said. The uncertainty of the future of H-1B may have been the reason for the recent decrease in the number of applicants: in 2018, the entire 190,000 man filed.

Tips for those who want to follow in his footsteps

On the other hand, obtaining H-1B is often the first step towards obtaining a residence permit in the United States and obtaining a real chance of fulfilling the American dream.

In response to a question about whether he has any advice for those seeking to follow in his footsteps, Kattula recommends seeking advice from senior students who have already figured out how to go through the application process. “You can just write to someone on LinkedIn,” he says.

And although it is easy to lose motivation in the process, since “there will be a lot of failures,” Kattula advises everyone who has a big goal to always remember: “Efforts are always more important than talent”.

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