Life on H4 Visa in USA – Experience – Working to Not Working – Positive Hope !

In H4 Visa by Guest AuthorUpdated : 39 Comments

One of our readers, H4_Life ( anonymous name), has shared her thoughts of living on H4 Visa in USA. It is very inspiring for anyone to live with positive hope and attitude towards life. Thanks to H4_Life for sharing her experience with us. You can share your experience here 

My First Thoughts

When I first got the news that I would be travelling to U.S after the wedding, I was kind of excited but mostly blank because I didn’t know what to expect. Back in India, the idea of living in U.S has always been considered a golden chance. So yes, all those talks did add to the excitement.

But the fact that I would be living with my boyfriend in U.S after marriage let me think that I was probably going to be in the best place in the world and I instantly put down my papers.

My Parents on H4 Visa – Not allowed to Work

When the wedding neared, my parents stumbled upon a few news articles that spoke about the lives on women and men who travelled on H4 and why they consider it to be a curse. It described about the loneliness and the dark times a person faces when they live on H4 because you are strictly not allowed to work on a dependent visa, yeah blame the rules.

Even as I cramped my stuff into two large bags, I kind of wondered if life can get that worse like how some people described.

My Life on H4 Visa in USA – First few Months !

For a while, I chose to ignore the warnings and look forward to the marital bliss of marriage. The first few weeks were difficult as I learnt to accustom myself with the new surroundings and keep myself busy while my husband was away at work. As the weeks rolled into months, there would be a sense of a dark depression looming over which was temporary to my relief.

There were lot of Indian friends around which made the stay a lot easier. Yet, people have their own lives to live and are not always there for us. It was fine for a while but the feeling of being wasted always crept into my head. There were times when I wondered if I did the right thing by quitting a lucrative career. But I would look at my husband and remind myself that it was all worth it.

Despite the self-motivation talks, I found myself slipping into depression every now and then when I thought about the future. There were a few women around like me, but most of them on H4 had children so their lives were just the busiest. Probably, the natural desire to compare India with U.S keeps tugging at our minds. I increasingly began to feel that India was a lot better in many ways.

Next Few months on H4 Visa

Seven months later, I became familiar with the place and people. I made a lot of Indian friends around which helped me a lot. I spent a lot of time reading books and stuff online. I kept myself busy learning to cook for my husband. As I waited for the next big thing in life to happen.

My thoughts Marriage Decision – H4 Visa
It’s true that life on H4 can be miserable and probably is. But remember that nobody forced us to leave our jobs and get married. And no matter what you do or blame the rules, there is nothing you can do to change it. I discovered that though my life was miserable at times, I learnt to be grateful for the things that I had. I learnt to look at the positive things in life.

Moving to H1B Visa from H4 – Change in Life – Positive Hope!

Gratefully, with a loving partner and God’s blessing, I was able to apply for my H1 visa after a year of anxiety (getting a H4 to H1 is another battle which you should be prepared for if you happen to apply a H1).

Yet, I agree life isn’t easy out here living on an H4 but let’s try to help each other by making the most of it. Sometimes, you are put into long lulls of nothingness for a reason which becomes clear after a while. Just hang on there and see the good things of life.

Check out the PBS published a Video on Life of H4 Visa holder 

What are your experiences on H4 Visa ?  How do you feel ?

 

Image Credit : http://www.lifewithelizabethrose.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/stressed-woman-cartoon.jpg 

   

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Comments ( 39 )

  1. mihir

    I file for h1b in premium processing employer still not get rejection letter……
    Is there any way we can check status even in not selected in lotter
    Any immigration dept contact?

  2. MANISHA

    Hi,

    My husband is in US on H1B. I am also H1B holder working with one of company. My visa is stamped through one of project but I am not travelling from the same project as requirement is no more from same project. I am not able to find the project and want to know will my H1B visa be still valid if leave the company or I travel on H4.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Manisha,

      You can still file a cap-exempt petition in future even if you travel on H-4 or resign from current employer. You would need a copy of current approval notice, or at least the receipt number for this.

  3. jeas

    The current H4 visa policy is a violation of basic human existence.
    They have closed all doors for us.
    I have Master’s degree in HR from India and I don’t wish to study further. Since I’m not an IT person and with a gap in career its difficult to get H1 visa.

    H4 visa makes us feel useless and non existent. You can’t even work for home country remotely or sell anything online in any other country.
    Single person’s salary is not enough in US. Everything is so expensive – rent, education, medical bill, food, cost of raising child. How can you save for future?
    What a waste of human resource (spouses of H1B personnels), which is so SO eager to contribute and grow.

    1. kri_khat

      Hi
      i recently came to US on H4 visa. I am looking for good/genuine Consultancy who can apply my H1 visa. Please let me know the name of good consultancy ? if anybody got there H1 visa filled and approved.

    2. Manali

      Hi, Just wanted to mention that you can still do remote jobs or sell stuff online, work for home country etc. The workaround is get an Indian bank account (you might already have one or take your parents’) and then ask your employer or wherever you re making money from to transfer to Indian account (via PayPal etc). Technically this is legal because you’re working as an Indian citizen and the US govt has nothing to do with it.

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Manali,
        It is illegal to work on H4 visa. That’s violation of your status. The workarounds are all illegal. You are living in US and your status is H4 dependent, while the internet has no boundaries, still it is considered illegal as your location of stay identifies what you can and cannot do.

        1. MM

          dude, wondering how long you guys are in USA, Its illegal to work for US employer, not for indian employer.Dummies.Manali there is nothing wrong to work for indian employer.

    3. administrator
      Kumar

      jeas,
      I can totally understand your frustration and pain. Unfortunately, the rules are not in favor of H4. Please work with your spouse’s employer and get the Green Card process going so that you may take advantage of EAD for H4 option

    4. Sandesh

      Jeas,

      Don’t loose hopes. Further education in computer related course like software engineering or etc. is the best path to keep busy your self, get success in henceforth life as well. Some folk says, education is an expensive option, Indeed it is.
      H4 people can not get scholarships from collages, however, many community colleges have IN DISTRICT fees options / programs, which are 50% less expensive than F1 student fees. Also they don’t require TOEFL score often. They do have their own English language test exam for associate degree or certification. Also they have ESL (English as Secondary Language) classes if you couldn’t get required score in their Eng. test.

      On the other hand, ask your husband to file Green Card asap if he could, so after second stage of Green card, you would be eligible to get H4 EAD. It takes around 18 to 24 months to complete second stage of GC, Associate degree takes around 24- 28 months to complete.

      On H4 EAD basis you could get job as a software developer in any ORG.
      They pay around 60 to 70 grand’s annually to fresher’s, also you could switch job anytime.

      Don’t wait and find community collage list in your area.

  4. Pooja

    Hi , I will be moving to US on H4 visa and I am lawyer by profession working as in-house counsel for a company . I want to about job opportunities there in USA. Can i work there in some company , or as a paralegal.

    Please advice.

    RegardsPooja

  5. BR

    I had very good career in India,was working in one of good company.

    My parents had lots of objection on my long distance relation(almost a 7 year).But finally they agreed for marriage I got married with my boyfriend.

    When we got married he was still studying.I always supported him mentally and financially.After marriage I started staying at in-laws home.

    Doing all stuff that daughter-in-law has to do, though they are not good with me because they want his son to get marry with USA citizen girl,so his son get settled easily.I never express this thing to my husband thinking that he will feel bad about his parents behaviour.

    I moved to usa on F2 visa. But after that my husband got H1B. Unfortunately he forgot to file my H4.
    As per the rule i can not stay in Usa without status more then 6 month,else i can be deported.
    so, Before 2 month I filed for H4 but still result did not come.
    I am not sure that i can stay or not as it filed H4 end of 6 month.
    In future as well if i want to change my status again it will create problem for me.

    Of course i am also going through all the depression and loneliness.
    I always supported him but when i needed he always gives excuse like its was not my fault or this is not in my hand, i can’t do anything about this.

    Somewhat,i believe people get change when they achieve success.

  6. jaya

    Hi,

    I am been a good student through out my education and have good work experience but after marriage I had to leave my work and currently in USA on H4.

    I am just not able to cope up with this feeling of being alone entire day and my carrier is totally abolished.

    I am getting depressed and insomniac. Last year I tied for H1b but bad luck it did not get picked up in lottery.

    Again trying my luck but again stuck with the confusion whom to trust for H1b(consultancy), don’t know where life is going.

  7. SB

    The current H4 visa policy is a violation of basic human existence.
    They have closed all doors for us.
    I have Master’s degree in HR from India and I don’t wish to study further. Since I’m not an IT person and with a gap in career its difficult to get H1 visa.

    H4 visa makes us feel useless and non existent. You can’t even work for home country remotely or sell anything online in any other country.
    Single person’s salary is not enough in US. Everything is so expensive – rent, education, medical bill, food, cost of raising child. How can you save for future?
    What a waste of human resource (spouses of H1B personnels), which is so SO eager to contribute and grow.

    1. Rahul

      There is always an option to go to India and focus on your career. Cant blame a foreign country to value your ‘human existence’

  8. Raj

    I have a H4 Visa.. If I apply Can I get a Education F1 Visa . Or will I be questioned that since I can study in H4 Visa I dont need to apply on F1…

    The main reason for me to aply for F1 visa is that atleast I can work for 4 hours a day..
    Can anybody guide me please..

  9. trinadh kumar

    Hi, Hello to everyone.

    I am on H4. By the time i applied to H1, If i got trained myself with some IT courses
    and acquire adequate skills to get a job. Is this anyway useful for me?
    does it make any difference?

  10. Richie

    I am MBA graduate (Finance) and own my Retail Distribution Business in E-commerce industry.Im on h4 visa since last 1 year but have never felt H4 visa as a curse but consider it as boon.

    This opportunity of owning free enterprise helped me to achieve Financial Independence, Productive utilization of time and skills.

    In these few years in US I developed Business Entrepreneurship, Leadership skill, Motivation and Self- image Development.

    1. Primrose

      Good for you Richie. How can you work on H4 through e-commerce? Is that not a violation of H4 visa status? Just wondering! Thanks and good luck.

  11. Anu

    Am on H4 visa,can I do work from home for MNC in India?what would be the wrong in that…as I would earn salary in India and will be paying the taxes to Indian Government…
    where it is mentioned in US laws as we can not do work from home on H4 visa.
    Any referral Docs will be really appreciated.

  12. H4 visa

    Staying in US on H4 is really a curse!! With in 2 months of my stay in US, I am going back India next month. Applied for H1b on April 1st, but as I do not have luck not gone thru in lottery. Being busy with professional work, house work etc.. in home country, here sitting at home and wasting valuable time is a pathetic.

  13. JayRedRoute

    Hi Guest Author,

    Interesting article. Bravo! You got H1B from H4 and you call that a battle… true! We are going thru the same! Would you please elaborate on it a little or give some other references within/outside this Blog.

    Few Consultants I contacted said this xfer is hard and can be better deal with if the person has work authorization. But we dont’ have it. Is there is any work-around for this?

    Thanks and Regards,
    Jay

  14. Sekar

    Hi,
    I am in H4 status with approved H1b petition but without I-94 on it(Meaning i was out of the country (USA) during my H1b is in progress, so it got approved overseas). I have H4 extension paper but H4 stamping on my passport got expired.Now what my employer suggest me is, i should Go to Mexico and come back on the same day without going for stamping. In the port of entry if i give my approved H1b petition, i can get the I-94 for H1b instead of I-94 for H4. I wonder if this possible? We need that H1b I-94 to apply for my SSN…
    To file the amendment for H4 to H1 with new client letter we need to start with the paper work once i clear the interview but vendors are not willing to start since i am not having SSN…

  15. anonymous

    Hi,

    I would like to share my experience of being on H4.
    I was a topper throughout my education life. In the few years of professional life back home, I climbed the success ladder quite quickly. But then just when I was at the peak of it, life took a dramatic turn. My H1B visa was applied by the company where I was working but before it could be submitted for LCA, some internal company policy dismissed my case. Meanwhile, my marriage was fixed with my boyfriend who was already living in US since long. I come from a very conservative background where nothing but family is the top most priority in life. Eventually I too agreed and decided to go ahead with my wedding.
    Post wedding I came to US and had almost the same experience as the writer of the article above. Since I had good academic background, I decided to pursue education. I took the GRE and TOEFL. However when I applied to the universities, fees were very high. It was difficult to manage any scholarship because I missed the deadlines. With no other option I decided to defer my application to next semester.
    I am still waiting for the scholarship. Hope this time I get lucky!

    Life at H4, is not that bad. Its a different kind of challenge but then all of us have some. With H4, one can have a driving license as well as a bank account. Explore the possibilities and stay positive!

  16. ram

    Will it be illegal for H4s to work from home for Indian companies getting paid in India in rupees?
    Or
    Running an online business that is registered in India?

        1. S

          But you are on H4 visa in another country. So you would need to follow the rules set by the country you are in. If you would like to keep yourself busy how could involve yourself in voluntary work which is allowed on h4 visa. Additionally, you could get enrolled into school, change your status to F1 visa and then H1b when you get a job.

  17. H4 Hubby

    I think a new breed evolving over the last few years is H4 hubbies. They have a whole different set of problems, and dare i say, more than H4 wives.

    It is a struggle no doubt.

      1. Molika

        Hi Naveen,

        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] I 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!!

    1. Molika

      Hi,

      I am working on my 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] I 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!!

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