Unlike the L2 visas, the spouses of H1B visa holders are not allowed to work. (See this article on H4 – http://www.peerallylaw.com/en/content/view/594). Speaking to many of the spouses on such visas, the Shah Peerally Law Group PC has decided to start a campaign to advocate for the spouses (H4 holders) to be able to work and be more independent. As such we are looking for testimonials of those suffering from the “unfortunate” conditions of being on H4 visa. Examples of the hardships can be:
Although the H4 visa allows the spouses to stay in the United States, it has very negative psychological effects on the visa holders especially on the women and children who feel over dependent on the H1B holder’s income.
Often, the spouses are very qualified and willing to contribute financially to the household income, yet unless they themselves change status, they are unable to do so and the couple goes into horrible financial difficulties.
H4 visa holders also find themselves at the mercy of the H1B visa holders regarding mental abuses from their spouses. Unfortunately they are unable to get a VAWA or a U Visa solely based on mental abuses.
Last year there was a move in Congress on the matter but it failed. We actually believe with the right support and getting enough testimonies on the matter, we shall be able to gather enough momentum to revive the movement. We are also starting a new petition to this effect. This petition will request that Congress and the Obama Administration to:
a. Allow H4 holders to contribute to this economy instead of just being dependents; and
b. Allow H4 to self petition in case of a divorce or separation to stay in the United States and be able to continue their lives peacefully.
Having seen and worked on hundreds of cases regarding H4 holders, our law firm believes that we need to start a campaign to bring to light the difficulties which many of the H4 holders are facing and hopefully change the momentum in their favor. As such we are looking for help and assistance from the community to support this cause. Note that any assistance is welcome including spreading the word and gathering signatures.