If you are an H4 visa holder in the USA, it’s worth googling around the net to see what other folk are saying about their own situation. I’ve read mutterings about “infringement of human rights” a few times but found this programme by PBS the most considered. It’s well worth a watch, although I find some of the thoughts of the panelists frustrating. They argue that just because the US Government deems a spouse worthy of employment, that doesn’t mean that his wife (or her husband) should automatically get a job.
True, but we are not asking for an instant or automatic job, only the right to be employed if an employer sees us as a potential candidate – based on our merit and experience. Is that too much to ask when we pay taxes and contribute to the economy and wider society on every other level?
The piece centers around a documentary made by former trailing spouse Megha Damani who says: “A sense of self-worth and meaning of life comes from what we do. I felt like that person was just cut off from me when I landed in this country.”
Immigration attorney Shivah Shah points out that there are some serious issues over women who are in abusive relationships being much more vulnerable when they have to depend on their husbands for every cent, every credit card payment. I think this is a different issue though, as terrible as it is, because it takes the attention away from the basic issue – which is, if you have someone in the country paying taxes (albeit through their husbands), contributing to the economy etc etc, and they are particularly well qualified, they should be allowed to work.
Shah also points out that in some states women on an H4 visa can’t get a driving licence.