Sunday, December 30, 2012

Painful Journey of H4-Visa Holder in the United States

America has always been the land of opportunity for the people around the world, but at the same time it has been curse for the spouses of the H1B visa holders. More than 65,000 caps for H1B visas are issued each year who can work and stay inside the country for six years. Although the spouses of H1B visa holders can come and dwell inside the United States in dependent status (H4 visa), they are not permitted to make any form of earning during their stay. None could have imagined the dependent of H1B will be required to limit their talent inside the household chores for six years. Especially, in that country who always takes initiatives to uplift the life of people across the world and who discuss humanitarian, justice, equal opportunity and diversity on a daily basis. There are no cultures in the world that is against for living married couple together. H1B visa holders are the qualified and educated alien helping America to enhance their economy with their extraordinary skill. Are we doing justice by abandoning H4 visa holders to live productive life, despite their higher qualifications?
Some people argue that it will not be prudent to provide work permission for H4 visa holders, particularly at this critical period of recession when many Americans are jobless. However, there are also other temporary visas given to foreign workers to work inside the country. L1 and J1 are the examples of those visas whose dependents are allowed to work. Additionally, each year 55,000 diversity visas are granted to the people of lesser represented countries through lottery, but it is not apparent that anybody has calculated the number of job they are taking from American's hand. Furthermore, what about the cost for the time of adjustment needed due to language and cultural barriers? In contrast, H1B visa holders are educated and qualified and they are supposed to marry an educated partner. Consequently, their spouses can enhance the economy of the country by creating job through small business and can contribute in the under-served areas where there is shortage of skillful workers. More importantly, as they are already living in the United States there is more probability for them to understand the culture and environment of America. Indeed, providing opportunity to work for the h4 visa holders is like decreasing a drop of water from the ocean of country's job. If a spouse who is qualified, but needs to ask even for a penny with their partner because in the United States he/she is not allowed to have any sort of income, then this does not only paralyze his/her dream, but also make them victim of the domestic violence which may ultimately affect them psychologically and physically. Since most of the H4 visa holders are women, domestic violence is the serious issue that need to be addressed in order to protect the women from being abused. United States Citizenship and Immigration services (USCIS) revealed that Victims of domestic violence who suffered physical or emotional abuse can obtain a Green Card through  Self-Petitioning Process and the other one is through U Nonimmigrant Status (U Visa). Even though immigration law provides immigration relief for the victims of domestic violence, as always prevention is better than cure. For detail information please visit USCIS website.
Moreover, rather than abandoning them from any sort of income, United States can enforce certain limitation and can take advantage from H4 visa holders who are qualified and skillful to uplift the nation's economy. For instance, legalizing them to work in those occupations which have shortages of qualified workers, those under-served areas where no qualified person want to work and giving permission to open a business which can create job for Americans. In America, there is shortage of nurses and there are no visas which allow foreign nurses to work temporarily. Of course, bringing nurses from the other country is not a long-term solution. Nevertheless, allocating those nurses who have passed licensure exam of the state and residing inside the country can relieve this shortage even in a smaller amount. United States can develop strategies side by side in order to produce more nurses. Likewise, inhibiting dependent visa holder to open their own business can help create more jobs.
          Among all of the H1B visa holders, if only half of them are married, then also every year more than 30,000 H4 visa holders enter inside the United states and within six years it will be more than 1,80,000 who are compelled to live non productive life inside the states. If appropriate policy is made to utilize those qualified individuals who are already reside in the country, this will not solely provide justice to the sufferer, but also boost the economy of the country. 

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