H4 Dependent VISA – The SAGA of a Spouse of H1B

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H-4 visa is a visa issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the H-1B visa holders.H-4 visa [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-4_visa], ”[[Wikipedia]]”, Retrieved on 2/12/2016.

“It is a great opportunity, we should take it. You will have to quit, but my company guarantees that you will be able to apply for jobs as soon as they file for green card”

“I finally got into school of business, we have to wait for few more years and then we can settle down. I know it will be difficult now with long distance but its just a matter of few years”

“I was looking forward to coming here, and now I am bored to death. I wish we had planned it differently”

“I want to start a job or work , is there anyway I can work”

“It takes anywhere between 6-8 years for a H4 Visa holder to be eligible to be able to apply for an EAD and it takes 1-2 years in the US to your mind go crazy and end up in depression”

These are some of the very common stories of a H4 Visa holder. They have discovered that being on a dependent VISA changes their life, most times for the worse. Some have found ways to cope up and others have struggled. There are some who have been hit by mental conditions and stressful situations that makes this discussion very valid and so on February 24, 2015, DHS made it possible for H4 spouses who meet certain criteria to be able to apply. There are discussions all over the internet about why this is a big problem. Even though some have found jobs, or have decided to take on other responsibilities as a mother or father but there are several who are stuck in life and good news is around the horizon.

What does it mean to be on H4 visa status? This question is like opening a can of worms. They Look perfect, seem happy and when you ask this question, the roof caves in. Very soon you will realize the immense pressure and the hopeless state of mind that they are in. When one MBA graduate from a reputed school in India came to the US for her internship program organized by the Indian school. It provided here an opportunity to study and work in US. She found herself in a pool of opportunities, green job markets and a hope that she will be able to quench her professional thirst. This changed very soon when she met her life partner and she was now left with a thirst that would simmer down or completely die down. These stories are too common and often times put constraints in relationship.

If you are not on H4, you simply do not understand the depth of this problem. In reality, one should not have to wait for a life time to be eligible to work when you have perfectly good education and experience. With the new rule, there is hope again but it is going to take few years for rehabilitation of the mind to be able to get into the workforce again.

“Now, after this long, when I got my EAD, I did not feel anything different or special,  as all the avenues, time and industry has changed on me” This young lady is now in her 30s, a lot has changed but she remains optimistic and hopeful for others like her. With a supportive husband, they embarked on the more important things in life – parenthood. She has found immense satisfaction as a mother. ” When its time, I will be back” she says hinting at re-joining the professional workforce.

We have put together some resources below  (Do’s & Don’ts) to help you with questions and VISA policies. If you have specific questions, do not hesitate to contact us at info@living-in-usa.com


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