Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s Struggle With The Immigration Department To Bring His Wife To US Is No Less Interesting Than A Bollywood Film


There’s still some time left before Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella’s much awaited book ‘Hit Refresh’ would stroll through the market, but the buzz has already begun. It is being said that the book will reveal a lot about Nadella’s personal life as well as professional struggles along with spilling the beans about some interesting stories revolving around the entrepreneur’s married life.

Giving us a little sneak peek into what the book is all about, Nadella shared an adorable instance about the time when he gave up his green card for his newly wedded wife. The incident is now going viral on the internet and has moved netizens all around.

So it was in 1992 that the Future Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella married his wife, Anu, who lived in India. Talking about the complications that started occurring after his marriage, Nadella writes in his book,

It was a happy time, but the complications of immigration would soon prove a challenge.

Digging deeper we find that the problem lied in the immigration. Nadella wanted to bring Anu with him but things were just not working out. Having just started his job at Microsoft’s Redmond Headquarters as a technical evangelist, the man had a permanent resident status in the US. He was a coveted green card holder there.

Even after making several attempts, the immigration authorities rejected Anu’s visa application. There was a long waiting list for the spouses of permanent residents and the only way possible was a short-term tourist visa with which she had to return to India before long.

Another way that Microsoft’s immigration lawyer suggested was way too risky and anybody would have refused to even think about it. But to our surprise, Nadella dared to give it a shot. As per what the lawyer said, if Nadella gave up his green card, he could reapply for an H1B skilled worker visa. Unlike a green card, an H1B visa is temporary and must be renewed. However, H1B workers could bring over spouses, no waiting required. So technically, it could solve their issue.

Talking about this law and explaining how his wife was his priority, Nadella writes,

Well, the H-1B enables spouses to come to the U.S. while their husbands and wives are working here. Such is the perverse logic of this immigration law. There was nothing I could do about it. Anu was my priority. And that made my decision a simple one.

After struggling for almost a year, Nadella went to the US embassy in Delhi and gave his green card back to a “dumbfounded” clerk. Well, the lawyer’s idea “miraculously worked” and he eventually got reunited with his family. Over time, Nadella got his American citizenship back as well and he still holds it today.

What makes us smile more is the fact that Nadella’s sacrifice didn’t go unnoticed. His colleagues at Microsoft soon got to know about the whole story and he even started hearing from people around, “Hey, there goes the guy who gave up his green card”. He writes in his book,

What I didn’t expect was the instant notoriety around campus.

A big hug and kudos to the guy. True love does exist. Hence, proved!