Thursday, November 29, 2007

Living with a H4 visa

So you just got married eh? Well Congratulations! :)
And now you are here in USA on an H4 visa with all your hopes and dreams .... most of you are probably very well educated back in India and had a perfectly great career back home.

So what does your H4 visa allow you to do or not do here?

  1. You CAN get yourself a driving license.

  2. An H4 visa holder may not accept employment.

  3. You probably can do volunteer work, (anything as long as you don't get paid for it)

  4. You will not be assigned a SSN (social security number) (and they are going to ask for that one everywhere assuming you have it)

  5. You can go to college if you want to get ahead in your career.

  6. It is possible to convert H4 to "F1" if one wishes to attend full-time course work. In fact that would be a wiser choice, so you can go ahead and work after your course at least for a while.

  7. It is certainly possible to convert H4 to H1, if one can provide proof, that he / she is qualified, has had prior experience in his/her field of expertise, and have a job offer from a company in the United States.

  8. You can attend community colleges. It will cost much lesser.

  9. You are eligible for an ITIN (Tax ID for IRS Tax purposes)

You might be thinking now where's the fun in all of this? Frankly I really don't know! When I wanted to write this blog, just to double check what I was writing, I went through a few other websites and came across one which actually stated H4 visa to be a "curse" !! Well..... to say the least its not that bad, but yes if you have worked and have had a well settled career, then it feels kind of "trapped" when you get here.

But it's not that bad if you look at the brighter side of it! :)
Let me see if I can list some fun stuff that you CAN do here.

  1. Shopping!! Now tell me which girl can do without that? But do check out my Blog on Coupons and freebies.
  2. This place has lots and lots of places to see and even more things to do. Go ahead and explore, plan weekend trips with your family. You could visit the tourist locations, or just go camping in the summer or try skiing in winter. Try it all I say! Why not? People come all the way here to holiday, when you're here make the best of it before you start working or studying (if you intend to).
  3. A friend of mine said she loves to clean. So she would clean the house a zillion times a day and still never get bored. When she did get bored of that she started baking! She joint some bakery classes and she found fun in that. Another friend paints these amazing watercolor paintings. I make some decorative stuff for my home too. Go ahead find a hobby that is close to your heart. Register yourself for some local classes of baking or painting or dancing or yoga or whatever it is that calls to you.
  4. I already mentioned you can study and get your career running in the right direction again. So start applying to colleges.
  5. Relax yourself ! This time in life is barely ever going to come again when you can stay home and relax, with no boss standing over your head!! :)
  6. If you've already started driving go ahead and spend time at a book store, where you can sit and read books too, or go to the library.
  7. Stay happy! Being on an H4 and staying home might not be what everyone expected it would feel like. You must learn to keep yourself occupied. All our lives we struggle to find time for ourselves and rarely ever get it. Now is the time for you, Use it to your advantage.
  8. Go through Internet to find interesting recipes and try them at home, then when you think you have mastered it, invite some friends to show off! ;)

See there is a whole lot that you can do here on an H4!!

I would love to hear of your H4 stories .........

Keep smiling! :)