Shreya Patil , 28, a former software engineer from India spends her day looking for online recipes and watching food network.
Adithi Rao , 27, a former business analyst from Hyderabad keeps herself busy with gardening and yoga.
Kavitha Ranganathan, 26, a master’s degree holder from IIT Chennai, is taking swimming and dancing classes to kill her time.
What do they all have in common?
They all got married to H-1B visa holders. They all want to work but couldn’t work due to the H4 visa restrictions.
Most of the H4 visa holders are on par with their spouses in terms of educational qualifications. Unfortunately, they cannot contribute financially to the household income.
H-4 work authorization issue is one of the top issues faced by the immigrants over years. It makes no sense why H4 visa holders can`t work while L2 visa holders can!!! If you are one among those people who supports H4 work authorization in USA, Please sign this petition initiated by Shah peerally law group.
Although work authorization for an H4 visa is not going to happen any time soon, H1B wiki suggests the following options for an H4 visa holder while they are in USA.
Option 1: Go to School
The best option for an H4 visa holder is to pursue higher studies. An H-4 holder however cannot work after school. So, once an H-4 holder joins school, he/she should apply for change of status to F1 visa and then could get all the benefits of working on OPT and converting to an H-1B later.
Option 2: Find a job which sponsors H-1B
You can try to find a job so that you could change your status from H-4 to H-1B. Finding the right employer is very important in this scenario.
- You could apply for a full-time job and have your employer sponsor you the H-1B visa.
- You could find a consultancy, get necessary training required and apply for job through the consultant. The consultant could then apply for H-1B.
- Try to search for H-1B cap-exempt organizations and apply for jobs in those organizations. H-1B can be applied in these organizations any time round the year and there is no cap holding. So, it would be easier to get an H-1B in this scenario.
Option 3: Work on creative projects/blogs (Only for green card aspirants)
You could work on some projects like creating web applications; write a book; plan a business; post cook recipes, etc. Once you receive your green card, you could monetize your work and earn income out of it.
Ex: You can write a book while on H4 visa and publish it and earn income after you get your green card.
Option 4: Passive Investment
This is a very grey area and I strictly advice you to consult an immigration lawyer before you consider this option. You can invest in a business and be a passive investor in an LLC/Inc. You are not supposed to work and receive any salary or monetary benefits for your work. You can receive dividends from the company.
Option 5: Volunteer
Volunteering is working without being paid. Few organizations do consider taking H-4 candidates for volunteering jobs. Find some good organizations in your industry where you can volunteer. If the organization or company likes your work, they will be more than happy to sponsor a H-1B for you.