Indians Pray to the 'Visa God'
Priest uses deity to hook believers hoping to work in the West
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2007 4:40 PM CST

(Newser) – Every week, 100,000 worshipers converge on a temple in Hyderabad, India, that honors a local incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. But the faithful aren’t praying for good health or fortune: They seek visas to the US and other Western countries, and the deity they’re praying to is known as the Visa God, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The temple’s head priest coined the nickname a few years back, when the site was getting two or three visitors a week. The temple's surging popularity reflects the mounting frustration educated Indians face in attempting to win one of the 65,000 slots for a US H-1B visa. “I’ve never head of anyone who’s gone to the temple whose visa got rejected,” says one believer.