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The Right To Work: Highly Skilled Immigrants And The H-4 Visa

"I first came to the US on H-4 visa from India, as a spouse of a Software Engineer. It seemed all good — my husband had the right work visa, was here legally, with a great job making decent money. However, as a dependent without a technical/engineering background, I found my options in the Silicon Valley to be very limited…People on the H-4 visa will appreciate how frustrating it is for educated/qualified professionals sitting at home, with no career prospects. - Sweta Khandelwal for FWD’s Built By Immigrants project

As it stands today, highly skilled immigrants to the U.S. can bring their immediate family members with them. H-4 visas allow these spouses and children, people like Sweta Khandelwal, to stay in the U.S. under the protection of the law. They are not, however, given the legal standing to get a job.

Is that fair? President Obama doesn’t think so. In accordance with his executive actions on immigration, starting May 26, some of those family members will be able to apply for work permits.

Immigration advocacy organizations, like FWD.us, see this as a huge step — but not a total victory. As such, they’re fighting for further reform, with legislation that addresses similar issues like the I-Squared Act.

Do you support welcoming more highly skilled immigrants (and their dependents) into the U.S. or not?

See FWD’s public profile on Countable, read their opinions on other legislation, and tell your lawmakers how you would vote on upcoming immigration bills!