She is an advertising professional, a woman who manages one of India’s most successful advertising firms. Suddenly, a job opportunity for her husband, who is an IT professional, has forced the family to relocate. It was a new beginning for her and her family, a chance to try their luck, an opportunity to set up base in a land of dreams and explore foreign shores. The excitement of landing in a new country and acclimatizing oneself to new surroundings had hardly begun when reality struck, and it struck hard. She had actually traded a career she loved, her firm, her prospects, to move to the United States, a land of opportunities, to be forced to sit at home and spend her time walking in parks and saying hello to friends over social networks.
It was of course too late to better her situation now that her husband was employed in the United States. She is forced to bare the true implications of the H4 Visa, a situation where she cannot work, in spite of being a highly trained and skilled professional with the capacity to start her own firm in the United States. Ironically, if permitted to operate, her firm would in fact provide jobs to other Americans, especially beneficial for citizens who complain of job scarcities.

She vents her anger and frustration regarding her situation on social networking sites and on her blog, where she writes about how the H4 Visa takes women back to the medieval ages, where the wife only has a place in the home. Where she is to cook, clean, and take care of her children. Although the trend is not gender specific, the fate of all spouses whether female or male of an H1-B Visa worker is the same. Her blog posts have attracted many in the same situation, warning H4 hopefuls to be prepared for such a scenario and that the US government chooses to not accommodate H4 Visa holders. What supporters of the H4 Visa employment regulations fail to understand is that her request is not for the US government to provide her with a job, but to allow her the opportunity to seek a job, a basic human right she is currently being denied.

Three years have now passed and her situation has worsened. A career woman who cannot accept the indignity of not being allowed to earn her keep, she has decided to part ways with her husband and travel back to India for her freedom. Today, she calls the H4 curse not an immigration problem but a humanitarian one and says she will never forgive the US governments lack of consideration when breaking apart her home and family.

One now wonders why the US government grants H1-B Visas in the first place, if the spouses of grantees will not be allowed to work and live a life of dignity in the US. There are claims that H1-B Visa holders are in the US to snatch jobs that duly belong to American citizens. And yet America is a land of immigrants, a land that has prospered with the help of immigrants. If the United States does not produce the required number of programmers, engineers, analysts, and high-tech specialists, American companies are bound to bring an influx of employees from other nations to fulfill these specialty occupations.

There have been many studies conducted, petitions passed around, and articles written on the sense of total loss of self dignity amongst H4 Visa holders, and yet absolutely nothing has been done to give H4 Visa holders hope for a brighter future. It is safe to say that H4 Visa holders are affected with feelings of inadequacy and bouts of depression, but H1-B Visa holders are also burdened by their spouses upon realizing that their other half is totally dependent on them. Because H4 Visa holders are financially dependent on their spouses, important liberties are usually withheld from them at the discretion of their partners.

The H4 Visa has been sarcastically referred to as a prison or bondage of sorts, people have come to the condition of losing their sanity and some even their lives when they become suicidal when faced with the H4 curse. Realizing the alarming proportions that this problem is reaching, Shah Peerally Films has produced ‘H4 VISA – A CURSE’. A film that will hopefully bring to light the plight of the spouses of H1-B Visa holders who are suffering for no fault of their own, because of the H4 Visa work regulations. The film is supported with the adequate knowledge of Mr. Peerally, who is a well known Immigration lawyer in the Bay Area. Mr. Peerally’s purpose for producing such a film is to help those who are seeking solutions to combat the H4 Visa curse.

There is currently an open discussion that many people which are affected by the H4 Visa curse are partaking in, and that is what exactly will make the US government wake up from their slumber regarding the employment rules that govern H4 Visa holders, or do they choose to deliberately allow the pleas of so many to fall on deaf ears?


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Shah Peerally is an attorney licensed in California practicing immigration law and debt settlement. He has featured as an expert legal analyst for many TV networks such as NDTV, Times Now and Sitarree TV. Articles about Shah Peerally and his work have appeared on newspapers such as San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, US Fiji Times, Mauritius Le Quotidien, Movers & Shakers and other prominent international newspapers. His work has been commended by Congress women Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee. He has a weekly radio show on KLOK 1170AM and frequently participates in legal clinics in churches, temples and mosques. His law group, Shah Peerally Law Group, has represented clients all over the United States constantly dealing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Custom Enforcement(ICE) and CBP (Customs Border Patrol (CBP) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This department was formerly known as the Immigration and Nationality Services (INS).