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What My H4 Visa Life Taught me? Family, Personal Gains

If you are used to working back in home country, once you are in US on H4 visa you cannot work immediately… Life as a H4 Visa Holder can be really tough until you fall under H4 EAD Rule to work. Ruchika has shared her experience on how she has seen the brighter side of life in US on H4. Thanks to her for sharing her positive attitude and experience towards life. It is quite inspirational for many of H4 visa holders. Must read for everyone. If you want to share your experience, you can do it here


One day, when I was penning down my thoughts as what this so called H4 dependent visa has taken from me, I started reminiscing about my time here in U.S. I have no doubt in my hatredness for this stupid visa as how it has taken away my liberty of working and earning. But I cannot deny what all beautiful things it has offered me. May be its true that when life takes something from one hand, it offers something on another hand. It’s human trait only that we get so engrossed in our crying that we forget to relish our small moments.

What are my personal gains  – New Culture, Etiquette ? Traffic Rules ?
If I talk about my personal gains, this visa has given me opportunity to learn pretty good things of U.S. culture. The first thing is etiquette in US and expressing gratitude. If I say U.S. taught me these things that doesn’t mean I was ill-mannered, I was a just normal mannered Indian. A normal Indian who rarely said thank you to a cashier at a grocery store, held a door for a complete stranger, greeted a stranger, said sorry or thank you to little ones for small things, waited in queue patiently and sometimes even offered own turn to someone at back in queue. It’s good that I am able to instill these qualities in my child too. I can see an example of this in my daily life, like one day she asked me for something, I said ok, I will get that for her, she warmly said, Thank you mommy! It seems to be normal thing but deep inside it’s an acknowledgement and appreciation for you, your efforts and a motivation to keep doing things in a better way.

Other good thing, I learned is about good traffic rules-especially no horn thing, everyone will wait for his/her turn, no matter you are coming out of carnival. In India, if you are crossing a road it’s solely your duty to keep yourself protected from on-going vehicles and if in case you are trapped inside the road, even on Zebra crossing sometimes what you will hear is “Dikhta nhi hai kya, andha hai (Can’t you see, are you a blind)” or “marne ke liye yehi gadi mili thi (Do you want to die in front of my vehicle only)?”. Here, if you are crossing your road (when it’s your right to cross or in parking area), the whole world will come to a stop for you.

I have read so many tragic stories about how people die in ambulance when they don’t get timely medical attention, just because people don’t give way to these emergency vehicles in India. I love the fact how a life of an individual is being valued here is U.S.

Time to Learn, Travel, Family Time

Since I love travelling, I have chance to visit and explore new places here. Otherwise, planning a vacation from India to U.S. is a costly affair for an average Indian.  Someone said learning has no age and it never exhausts your mind. Luckily, I had opportunity to learn I wished for. I am a better cook now, a better homemaker, my home looks good by home decor things I make and also, I am learning to swim. I had a deep desire to swim but didn’t get time a chance to learn before. Rarely one gets a chance to learn to swim at this point of time (age, married, child, job) in India, may be because we start feeling older before our age, worry so much, take tension of every this and that, especially what people will say. One simple example is most ladies don’t prefer wearing bright colors after crossing age of 45 years thinking how will they look or more importantly what people will say!! But look out here, no one cares as long as you are happy.

The most important thing that I have got is family time. When we were back in India, my husband had work shifts, sometimes early morning, sometimes afternoon or even night shifts and I was also working although in normal office hours but yes, our timings never matched. So many times, we had time just enough to see each other’s face only or sometimes a ride to my office, just to spend time together or to know what’s happening in each other’s lives. We used to wait for days off, weekends or even bunk office during lunch hours and home as if we were still dating before marriage. But now as I am always at home and even his timings are normal, we have plenty of time for each other (unless there is an issue -IT support, huh or he is on the call).

As the time is passing, the bond we share is getting deeper. Thousands miles away from home, taking care of super-active toddler alone, without a job and so much of household chores, many times, I do get depressed and he is the only one I get to venture out my frustration. Fortunately, he tries to maintain his cool, motivates me and encourage me to do new things. Not only this, I even get a luxury to eat food cooked by him. Yes, usually an early morning tea, bread toast, omelette or a dal sometimes. This was obviously not much possible back in India as we were in joint family settings.

Motherhood, Child

Apart from our husband-wife bonding, I have opportunity to enjoy my motherhood. I am able to see her growing, her innocence, feel her love and affection for me. Having her asleep in my arms, her little hug and innocent smile she gives when she wakes up is so prestigious that I can’t even dream to lose. If I was still working, I would have missed these moments and this time won’t ever come back.

I have learned that we should define our happiness, we cannot look for it somewhere else or depend on others, we have to create it for ourselves. But if we keep regretting for what we don’t have, we will keep wasting our precious time where we could either have created a beautiful moment with our loved one or worked for our better future.

How has your experience been on H4 Visa ?  Share your thoughts.

You may also read – Life on H4 – Working Not working

image credit : https://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2015/04/20/13/10/life-731138_960_720.jpg 


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  1. I want to also invite anybody who visit this page and resonates with Ruchika’s article to please reach out to me at [email protected] as I am researching for my book on journey of immigrant spouses. I intend to publish soon.

    My website will be up soon but by that time you can reach out to me on my email Id.

    I want experiences of immigrant spouses to be presented before the world.
    I have been attending conferences and meeting people and believe me people want to hear out our stories.Be brave and please reach out to me to share your experiences and story.

  2. Hi Ruchika,

    I recently came across your article. I applaud your positive approach towards life.Ruchika I am working on my first book and I would like to interview you on your experiences in US as an immigrant spouse. I believe H4 spouses have so much to inspire others and the world needs to hear the story of our courage. If you are interested please reach out me at [email protected] plan to publish my book soon so your prompt response will be greatly appreciated.Also, you can search me on my FB by the name of Molika Gupta, Ex General Motors employee!!

  3. Dear Sir,

    I need your help please. I am on H1 right now but due to maternity I lost my job and now my emloyer will revoke my H1 as I dont have project . So I have to come on H4. I need to ask …
    1) Can I convert My H4 visa to H1 in future and will it be under cap?
    2) generally How much time it takes and will I need to wait untill it gets approved or Can I work on receipt number.

    Pls help

    Thanks a lot

    • Shivani,
      1. Yes, you can still opt for H-1 in future w/o going through lottery
      2. You mean future H-4 to H-1 petition? That could take 2-6 months, but PP option will be available. You cannot work until your H-1 COS is approved.

      • HI Saurabh,

        Thanks for your reply… I need your help in understanding few things please
        1.If my employer revoke my H1 , How much time I have in hand to look for a sponser for H1 and in how much time I should apply for H4.
        2. once I am on H4 , If I get a project and sponsor Can I apply for H1 , will it be subject to CAp or do I need to leave country or something
        2. Can I apply H4 and H4 EAD together while my husband’s H1 extension is filed and in progress.
        pls help.

        • Shivani,

          1. There is no grace period. You need to take action before one of the following happens – employer terminates your employment; or employer sends petition to USCIS for revocation. File COS to H-4 or move to another employer before this happens.
          2. It will be cap-exempt
          3. Yes, you can do this

    • Shivani,

      On another note, you mentioned you lost job b/c of maternity. It is unfortunate that the employer used that bias. If you feel that you were fired b/c of your pregnancy, then you may be able to file a case against the employer.

  4. Its the same with every country. I moved here because i wanted this lifestyle I wanted freedom which i never got in India.
    I have seen Indians living miserably in the US because they don’t want to change themselves and live in the same group of people. when you come to a different country you have to learn their values and respect them, which WE Indians never do and then are stereotyped because of the obvious reasons. people need to change themselves for good when they go to any country and stop being so stuck up.

  5. Good One! Nice way of looking things and turning them into ur way positively.
    But, I felt like this was written more one sided or may be you wouldn’t have taken an opportunity to do/explore things in India.

    I saw similar/much better life style when I was working in Pune.

    My wife was in same situation initially when we moved to U.S. She slowly started enjoying the life style and everything, but later again after few months, we thought about careers/personal value/life in 40’s/how about when kids are in high school etc.

    She recently got a Govt. Job in India and am planning to switch back to home town Hyderabad now.

    Just worreid that we may miss this personal time/life what we get here.
    But, planning to travel back hoping that we make a better life in India as well.

    Good luck and Have good time!

    • Thanks Sravan! This article is just about postivite side of being on H4 in US but not the lifestyle I cherished while in India.

      • Hi Ruchika,
        I appreciate your thoughts came in articles. I have been through these things since 2011. Once I wrote a big comment in this redbus exactly 5years ago about H4visa struggles, and a person criticized to his level best on my article saying, he came to USA on F1, luckily he won a lottery to pay of the college fees. He also demean about how ladies becoming Baby delivering machines and cooking, roaming with baby strollers and having frustration looks on face. In the end, he even said, you must be writing this comment either you are a pregnant and could not prove your best anywhere else.

        After that, it really hurted at that moment, as well as took it to positive motivation, went through TOEFL,GRE, college admission, car driving, graduation and ended up in a job being OPT and soon will be into H4 EAD. Now, I am proud to be a mom, graduate, having job, with all struggles paid off. My best wishes to all going through tough time with H4 meditation period. “Every dog has its own day”. Enjoy present, plan ahead for 5year goal, if you are new H4, grow your network(not for gossiping but to have positive talks), update with daily news and involve in creativity to update your knowledge.

        Once again, I appreciate your positive attitude.


        • Hey, Thanks for your generosity. It really means a lot. “Every dog has its own day”, is the best thing. I echo your thoughts, there is so much to do in this short life. Definitely on it. Being on H4 doesn’t mean you are weak, sometimes people misinterpret. While writing bad about others, they tell more about themselves and somehow give more power to you. Good wishes to you, Ruchika.

  6. Thanks for sharing your thoughts..But i feel all the mentioned point you could hv enjoyed even while working in US..no need to be in fulltime home to experience those things..just my opinion..

    • Yes, for sure we can but till the time you can’t work, you need to keep moving with positive thoughts and no regrets.

  7. Thanks for sharing your experience and motivating other upcoming H4 . You have highlighted very key points which will change our life. All the best and stay happy


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