Jaimeet Gulati was born in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in February 1989. His parents migrated to the United Arab Emirates in the 1980s for business opportunities. UAE offers plentiful short-term work opportunities but offers no pathway to citizenship for non-Emiratis. Consequently, Jaimeet’s goals were always to come to the United States for education and permanent residency. In 2006, Jaimeet migrated to the USA to pursue a bachelor of science in Rice University in electrical engineering, graduating summa cum laude in 2010. Originally under a F-1 student visa, he now has a H1-B visa as an educated professional. Gulati has been working for two years in renewable energy as a systems analyst for EDP Renewables North America LLC (formerly Horizon Wind Energy). Furthermore, he is planning on pursuing a MBA after several more years of work, subscribing to the belief that hard work and talent are always recognized in the United States. His primary motivations for coming to Houston are because of Rice’s recognition as a major research institution and its status as a premier educational institution in engineering. Though he has resided in Dubai for 17 years of his life, he retains Indian national status (from parents) but hopes to obtain permanent residency in the United States in approximately six or seven years. Since UAE is part of the “Other” geographic bloc for purposes of US naturalization, Jaimeet has effectively cut his migration time by three or four years. The interview highlights the selective nature of the US migration process and how immigrants can use stepwise migration to intermediate countries to accrue financial capital and preferential status to eventually migrate to their preferred destinations in the United States.
View interview transcript PDF — Full interview materials on Rice Digital Scholarship