I have always wondered what are the real options of an H4 visa holder in this immigration labyrinth. I have tried to put a perspective from my point of view. I hope it will help or inspire other H4 visa holders. As I look at the depressing situation, this is what I have noticed and experienced. This is only my point of view:
1. The Option of Volunteering?
Seriously! Does anybody think all H4 visa holders will want to make volunteering a purpose for their lives at the age of 26 – 36?
2. Should we work Illegally?
My values and ethics do not allow illegal options.
3. How much more Education do we need?
What about people with 3 year bachelor’s degree? They are not even eligible to apply for a master’s degree. They are asked to first enroll in bachelors as a transfer student and that takes minimum 2 and 1/2 to 3 years. And the fact that fees are doubled that of masters and then you do a masters again does not help. Unrealistic! And what about people who already have a master’s degree from India? Do they have to study for another master’s degree? And again many people are not able to find any sponsors from H4-H1B and F1-H1B after pursuing higher studies as well. So all the investment on education is wasted including the money to repay any possible loans.
4. Should H1B visa holders stay unmarried till they get a Greencard?
This is not possible in many cultures.
5. Should H1B visa holders spouses live different lives in different countries for some years (5-8 years)? Should we let our children grow with just one parent?
6. What happens if all the H1B leave or are returned to their home country?
I wonder if ‘getting rid’ of all the H1B visas and their spouses is going to help the U.S economy.
Putting a hold on one’s career is possible for 1-2 years at the most. Anymore more time than that is inhumane. “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop” is rightly quoted. Every woman on H4 visa suffers from chronic depression and low self-esteem. By the time an H4 visa holder gets a green card in (4-10 years), he/she is already past 34-35 years. How does one get back in the competition after such a long break? With an inactive brain, someone becomes useless and ultimately loses self-confidence, and self-esteem.
Being inactive and having nowhere to go has disrupted my routine. Since I had nothing to look forward to, I started getting up anytime, having breakfast at any time, sometimes no lunch, late lunch, late dinner and no fixed bedtime. If you have a routine, you get up on time, get ready & get out of the house. You meet new people. Being social brightens your day, exchanging thoughts, laughs and vibes with other people keeps your mind & body healthy after all “Man is a social animal”. When you earn there is a sense of being worth. Being idle prevents progress as a couple and the ability to lay a foundation for a life together. Moreover, when both spouses are working, they feel they are jointly contributing.
Many women don’t have the confidence to start a family and also care for a family with all the depression and their state of mind. “Time and tide wait for no man”. Unfortunately, the biological clock awaits for noone. This adds to the already existing stress.
H4 rules need to change. Not for the sake of feminism or woman power. But it’s ruthless to treat a human being like this. For the sake of humanity, allow an individual to work. Not to mention that it will help the economy. L2 visa holders are allowed to work. What’s so different about H4 visa holders? Why this discrimination?
Getting married to someone you love is not a choice we make, it’s the law of life. H4 rules need to be reviewed. H4 visa holders are not treated as real human beings. It is a major issue. These issues of H4 visa holders cannot be ignored or put on hold. An action needs to be taken NOW. If it’s not, we all have an answer. We have no value or respect here as human beings. We have to find a place where we have our freedom. H4 visa is disrupting thousands of lives (their own, their partner’s and their children’s)
I get calls for jobs all the time but the moment I mention about my H4 visa status, they hang up. But I get calls because the recruiters find my skill-set relevant to the available position. Please give us a chance to at least stand in the line to prove that we are capable. If I don’t clear the interview, I will be rejected. H4 visa is an outright and unfair dis-qualifier.
For the reasons I mentioned in this testimony and for the sake of being, I pray the US government to give us, H4 visa holders, a chance to work in this great nation.