Catch the tail of the American dream: six stories of people who won the green card
“We played for six years and did not lose hope”, - Alexey Savinov, 32, Minsk, Belarus.
Alexey and his wife have been playing the lottery since 2011, and never lost hope, although each time, in response to their inquiry, they saw the same phrase “has not been selected”.
“This time I was the first to check my profile - the same familiar inscription. Then he began to check the status of his wife - and then a completely different picture pops up with completely different words. And we, of course, have a stupor, we then double-checked it several times - what if there was some kind of error, a failure in the system. This also happens. "
The couple already have two directions where they would like to go: either the state of California (it is expensive there, but there are acquaintances), or Pennsylvania. “I looked at the information, read different ratings - there is work, and the crime rate is low, and there is a large Russian-speaking community, so it will be easy to adapt,” says Alexey.
He does not worry about work - with his specialty as a car mechanic, he will always find how to make money. Dinara is a cook by profession, so she can get a job. Alexey teaches English on his own, and now his wife and 11-year-old daughter Yaroslav will start to tighten their language. The girl has been playing the lottery with her parents for all six years and now she talks about America only.
“I've always wanted something different. The latest economic events in my country make one think about the future, but it is becoming more and more foggy in Belarus. I watched a lot of videos and reread a lot of blogs of expats who left for the USA. And I did not find those who, having adapted there, would complain about life and wanted to go back. Everyone basically says that a sea of opportunities opens up in the States, and I believe in that, ”says Alexey.
“We were lucky the first time, my husband immediately ran for gin - to celebrate”, - Elena, 30 years old, Kiev, Ukraine (she asked not to give her last name).
Helen says that before 3 May, when it was possible to check the results, they did not sleep half the night. And exactly in 12 of the day already sat near the computer.
“Many people complained in the forums that their site immediately froze, but at first everything worked for us. First they checked my number - no. Therefore, let's check the husband's profile - and we see an official letter that this number has been selected. ”
The girl says that she did not even believe in such luck and did not hope for a victory. “First, shock, silence, we look at each other, and then they started shouting - hurray. My husband immediately ran for the gin - to celebrate ”.
The family will prepare and prepare documents with the help of a lawyer. Since the political asylum case is already in the process, they are afraid that it would damage the green card. "We will do two things in parallel, let's see which one will burn out."
And in America, the family has already settled down - they live in Miami, where Elena works as a hairdresser, and her husband is a cook. “We are very happy and glad we left. We had no one here - we just decided, got together and went with a great desire to stay here ”.
“I already have all the documents ready, even for an interview,” - Yulia Rusina, 20, Lipetsk, Russia
“I never dreamed of winning, I was never lucky for such things. But she decided to test her fate and never regretted it, ”the girl says. She immediately went to work with her mother with a cake - to tell about the good news and celebrate.
The girl has a manager's diploma, but she dreams of leaving for New York - to study again and try her hand at the art field. She will go to conquer America alone.
“The youngest daughter won. This is the third green card in our family ”, - Polina Serdobintseva, 55, Chicago, USA
“We did not manage to stay in the States for a long time, we moved to Canada, where we learned about winning the green card. But we were unable to activate it for a number of reasons - in other words, we did not get to the interview, ”says Polina. Then the family returned to the States again, where they managed to legalize. But two more daughters remained in Russia - at that time the girls were studying at institutes and Polina did not want to interrupt their education.
"Family reunification is a very long process, it takes 5-7 years, so I continued to play the lottery."
Polina filled out all the questionnaires for children and their husbands herself, the only exception: every year she demanded fresh photos from them - “every time she called and said: now there will be a new drawing, come on, send me a photo”. And five years ago, the eldest daughter Valentina won the green card. Then the confirmation came by regular mail, and Polina specially indicated her American address - she did not trust Russian delivery.
And this year the luck repeated itself - now the youngest Anya got the chance to get a green card.
“I really wanted to, I prayed to all the gods, wrote a letter to God. Before turning on the computer, I lit a candle, prayed to the icon, went to the computer, click - and win. The husband is on the first floor, and from the second I shout to him: "Slava, she won." Then we came to our senses a little and began to call Russia - they had it at about four in the morning. My daughter didn't believe it at first, ”says Polina.
“You know, the attitude is important - if you really want to come here, put down roots and live here, everything will work out. When I arrived in America, it seemed to me that she had been waiting for me for a long time - all people are smiling, I was just euphoric. "
In Russia, a woman had a good life - a high position, her own home. “But when I gave birth to my son in 1994, and it seemed to me that he would go to the army and fight against Chechnya - I was ready, you know, to take him on my back and crawl across the border.”
Polina's main advice to new immigrants is to learn the language and tune in to hard work. “When a person is given such a chance by God, one has to sit down, weigh everything and decide correctly. You have to interest America in something - first of all, as a specialist. "
“I won the green card then. But the confirmation was sent by mail, and it got to me too late - I simply did not have time to submit further documents. " The second time luck smiled in 2012. He and his family were interviewed in early October, and in April he, his wife, youngest son and a dog moved to Kentucky. The eldest daughter stayed to finish the 11th grade and joined her family a couple of months later.
Yuri advises: in an interview you need to prove that in America you will not immediately sit on the neck of the state. Or show a good amount of money you can take with you. Or demonstrate the sought-after profession.
“Actually, I am a businessman, but by profession I am a doctor. So, if I had indicated that I was a doctor, they would not have taken me: they do not need doctors. As well as lawyers. But working professions, engineers - very even ”.
You also need to understand that immigration is not cheap. “The first time you need to live on something, rent an apartment, eat,” says Yuri and immediately warns: tune in to the fact that most likely you will lose your status.
“For example, my wife - she was a popular pediatric surgeon in Perm, but here no one knows her, she could not get a job for a long time. Because no one needs you without an American diploma. ”
Therefore, at first she was just a volunteer, then she was given night shifts and much later was invited to work in a private clinic, but as an administrator. Yuri's wife is now also studying, and he opened his own business - he buys apartments at bank auctions, makes repairs in them and sells them. He says that, despite all the difficulties, he is happy that he moved, primarily because the children in the States are clearly better off. “The daughter is studying at the University of Chicago, the son goes to school. Both already speak fluent English. No one has nostalgia ”.
“I played the lottery with a friend. I won, she didn't, ”- Yuri Torop, New York.
“We have already filed a deadline for filing, but because of the time difference in America, there were still a couple of hours to file, so I managed to register and immediately forgot about it.”
The guy even stopped communicating with his friend, but she unexpectedly called and said that she had checked his profile - he won! “Later they told me that this usually happens: those who do not really want to win. And those who dream and play 8-10 times - no ”.
At the time of winning, Yuri was 31 year, and he admits: he did not want to start life from scratch. But he decided to take a chance. He collected all the documents himself and urges not to pay big money to firms that promise to do it for you, because the process is rather simple.
First, Yuri went to friends in Arizona, worked for the summer in North Carolina, and now lives in New York. He has private clients, and he simply bought a coach license on the Internet after completing online courses. “It’s strange that with my higher education and experience I just had to buy confirmation that I can train people.”
He has two main tips for immigrants: raising money and learning English. For him, the language is still a problem - in his environment, mostly Russian speakers. Therefore, the guy decided: most likely, he will go to the army, receive citizenship and try to build life here.
“The green card, of course, makes the journey easier, but you have to understand - this is not a lucky ticket. After winning, everything is just beginning. ”
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