India’s population now stands at more than a billion people. The U.S. is happy to take 65,000 of the more educated “skilled professionals” (like engineers) each year, but the demand of those wanting to move West keeps rising. According to a news story in the Wall Street Journal, the U.S.government received more than 65,000 applications for the H-1B visas in ONE DAY. Last year it took two months to reach that number. So now applicants are assigned a random number, and the first 90,000 to 110,000 are processed and accepted or rejected until the quota is reached.
Now, enter C.S. Gopala Krishnan, the 63-year-old head priest of the Chilkur Balaji Temple in Hyderabad, India. In the late 1990’s, this small temple was drawing only two or three visitors a week. Naturally the priest wanted more visitors, so he began calling Lord Balaji (one of the many incarnations of the the Hindu God Vishnu) the Visa God.
When a U.S. consulting firm applied for a visa on behalf of Mohanty Dolgobinda three years ago it was rejected. The following year, they tried again. Friends then advised Dolgobinda to visit to temple ahead of of his interview at the U.S. consulate. He did, and a few weeks later his visa application was approved.
That changed everything for this small temple. Now it draws 100,000 visitors a week. Mr. Dolgobinda says he’s never heard of anyone who visited the temple to have a visa application rejected. Now, people flock to the temple to pray, not only for happiness, prosperity and fertility, but for visas to the U.S. and other Western countries.
Tomorrow, a few words about the latest thing being outsourced to India. This one may surprise you.