In the last decade more than 10,000 citizens of the former Soviet Union countries applied for a permanent US visa (Star & Hackley, 1998).
I interviewed an immigrant from Russia, Vladimir Kazakov, 24, who moved to the United States of America in 2002 from Russian city of Saint-Petersburg. He came from a rather poor family and even though he was an only child he didn't get a lot of treatment from his parents. His father died when he was five and his mother passed away when he was sixteen, so he lived with his relatives and has been planning to immigrate to the United States for a long time.
We all know how hard it is to get a green card to work and live in America on permanent basis. Vladimir's experience was no exception. It took him almost 7 months to settle all the organizational problems and get a visa. He never gave up his hope, and even though he did not have any relatives or work arrangement he has finally received an H1B visa which allowed him to work in America for 3 years. Vladimir knew that he would have to work as an unskilled laborer for a while to get used to the language and the lifestyle, but he was picturing himself as a successful programmer in Silicon Valley or in some other big place, and earn a lot of money. He also knew that if he worked well during these three years he can qualify for a permanent visa and thus secure himself as a United States' citizen.