We had an excitement that we were going to a new country.: Becoming Minnesotan

Lincoln Gada, c.2001.
  • Name - Lincoln Gada
  • Age at interview - 26
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview - 12.14.1998
  • Shanku Sthapana for Hindu Temple, Maple Grove, Minnesota, May 30, 2004.

    The Journey

    Essential Question

    Coming to America: What did coming to America symbolize for this person?

    The Journey: How did this person get to the U.S.?

    Words to look for

    Green Card

    Background Information

    Many well-educated Indians have moved to the U.S. for specialized jobs that they cannot find in India.  It is common for Indian immigrants in the U.S., who are typically highly educated, to come to the U.S. on an H1-B work visa.  To get an H1-B work visa a person must have a specialized skill that is needed by a U.S. employer, which must sponsor the individual.  Eventually this person may apply for a Green Card and then citizenship.  Once a person has a Green Card, which represents permanent residency, he or she is no longer limited by employer sponsorship. 

    To learn more about Asian Indian history and culture, visit our Asian Indian Community page.

    • Chapter 1

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    Narrator: Lincoln Gada (LG)

    Interviewer: Diana Kenney (DK)

    DK:  So what kind of visa did you obtain to come here?

    LG:  H1-B.

    DK:  What are the stipulations of that visa? How long can you stay?

    LG:  When you get an H1-B they're normally for two or three years. So you can work for those two and three years. And once they are about to expire, you can apply for a new H1-B. But at a time you can stay only for six years on H1-B. So at that time you apply for a Green Card for immigration. If you get it in six years, you are fine. Otherwise, for a year you have to go out or change your status, working to student, or something like that.

    DK:  So you have to go back to India?

    LG:  If I don't get my Green Card by then.

    DK:  Is your company helping you to apply for a Green Card?

    LG:  Yes.

    DK:  Tell me about your journey from India to Minnesota.

    LG:  We came Air India to Frankfurt, Chicago, to Minneapolis. It was like almost a whole-day journey. We started from early morning, 6:00, from India, and reached here the same day in the U.S. at 6:00 p.m., but it was like twenty-four hours apart. Initially it helped, because we were tired and we slept. But slowly the emotion started growing in us that we were moving to a new country and our family will be away from us for a long time. So emotionally it was very difficult, but we had an excitement that we were going to a new country and we'd be able to make new friends, meet new people, and learn new culture.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun:  The arts, customs, and habits that characterize a particular society or nation.

    Green Card

    Noun:  Common name for a United States permanent resident card, which serves as proof of a non-citizen's legal right to live and work in the U.S. permanently.


    Adverb:  At the beginning.


    Noun:  1. A person’s position or standing relative to that of others. 2. Prestige or high standing. 3. A situation or state of affairs.


    Noun:  Things that are required as the conditions of an agreement.


    Noun:  A permit to enter and leave a country, normally issued by the authorities of the country to be visited.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access]. http://www.mnhs.org/immigration
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