This must be the happiest day ever for lots of people out there!
There is finally a date for the rule that allows some H-4 visa holders to work to become effective: May 26 2015!!!!
In a post released today the DHS made the following announcement:
“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director León Rodríguez announced today that, effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. DHS amended the regulations to allow these H-4 dependent spouses to accept employment in the United States.” in http://www.uscis.gov/news/dhs-extends-eligibility-employment-authorization-certain-h-4-dependent-spouses-h-1b-nonimmigrants-seeking-employment-based-lawful-permanent-residence
Not everyone on an H-4 will be able to work though. There are some restrictions.
“Eligible individuals include certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who:
Are the principal beneficiaries of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker;
Have been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act. The Act permits H-1B nonimmigrants seeking lawful permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit on their H-1B status.”
The post goes on to explain the reasoning behind the authorization: “DHS expects this change will reduce the economic burdens and personal stresses H-1B nonimmigrants and their families may experience during the transition from nonimmigrant to lawful permanent resident status, and facilitate their integration into American society. As such, the change should reduce certain disincentives that currently lead H-1B nonimmigrants to abandon efforts to remain in the United States while seeking lawful permanent residence, which will minimize disruptions to U.S. businesses employing them. The change should also support the U.S. economy because the contributions H-1B nonimmigrants make to entrepreneurship and science help promote economic growth and job creation. The rule also will bring U.S. immigration policies more in line with those laws of other countries that compete to attract similar highly skilled workers.”
We all just want to have a normal life (normal to our own standards), as well as be able to contribute to a better society and economy with our skills and knowledge. Hopefully some of us will be able to do so very soon!
It’s a great day! I’ll certainly be celebrating will my fellow H-4 friends and family today!
Thank you to everyone who made this possible! =)
2014 was the year that brought immigration reform to the table again and thousands of people have been actively trying to make this reform happen, for different reasons.
H-4 visa holders are just some of the people looking forward to the reform, but because it’s a hot issue, and one that brings so much debate, it doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon.
There is some hope for H-4 visa holders though, as a rule has been proposed by the DHS (http://www.dhs.gov/news/2014/05/06/dhs-announces-proposals-attract-and-retain-highly-skilled-immigrants) that would allow certain H4s to work. We just need a date now. Please President Obama, make this happen!
There is no better way then to start a New Year with hope, so here’s to hoping that the rule will happen early this year and therefore give some of us the opportunity to become self-reliant and independent again!
Happy New Year!
Sometimes I get the feeling people think H4s should be grateful for this “eternal holiday” kind of life we are put in. Well, news flash: when you don’t choose it (doesn’t matter what it is), you are not going to be happy about it for very long. You may try to like it, you may even like it some days, but in general being forced to be financially supported by someone is humiliating and degrading. Most H4s I know feel pretty much the same way. Most H4s were working, independent ladies/men who gave it all up to join their husbands. Most of the time with hopes H4 wouldn’t really be that bad or that somehow they could get a working/student Visa soon. From what I gather, some people have to wait for 5, 6 even more years.
It is a stressful and unnecessary situation that puts a lot of pressure in marriages and the individuals that have to go through it. It’s about time someone realizes this is absurd!
And please don’t expect us to go about this as if it is business as usual because it isn’t. Most husbands don’t understand why we’re so pissed off about it because they have their normal life, they go to work, they do what they love, they work with amazing, fun people, so for them it is life as usual. Try to put yourself in our shoes though and imagine what it would be like if all of that was taken away from you and overnight you have to re-invented yourself, in a strange country, with no friends, no family and in some cases without speaking the language. Try to imagine having to stop being a creative, useful person to being a … leisure person (as some people call it). It’s not that we don’t try to like and enjoy it. We do. But it’s not the same thing trying to be busy and actually being busy. Of all people H1Bs should know how important having a job and doing what you like is. Heck, you moved all the way across the freaking globe to do yours! Why on earth would you think that being forced to not doing it should be taken lightly and gladly?
I very often wonder if President Obama and the First lady have heard of this and if they would care. When I read about their immigration plans it seems there is only one issue: the Mexican border. It’s a big country, I know, there are tons of problems to be solved. H4 is also one of them and I never even heard one relevant person mention it. And how does that makes us feel? Even more invisible…