For Nikhil Ghantasala, getting into the United States to study computer science was the easy part. It’s staying in the country that’s the problem.
Mr Ghantasala hails from Hyderabad, India. He has just graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in Jersey City, New Jersey and begun working full-time for Provenir, a business software company.
But come next April, if he is not selected for an H1-B visa – which allows “highly skilled” workers to come to the US – he will have to move back to India.
Competition for the visa is high though. Last year the quota was filled in just five days.
“I have seen most of my friends, they’ve been rejected twice,” he says. “You think, ‘oh my god, if I don’t get it what happens?’
“Then I have to go back and I don’t want to go back.”