Home > H-1B Posts, Immigration in News, Spousal Work Permits > WSJ Article discusses “Outdated Indian Visa Rules” But Completely Ignores H-4 Visa Issue

WSJ Article discusses “Outdated Indian Visa Rules” But Completely Ignores H-4 Visa Issue

December 11, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

An Article published on Wall Street Journal criticizes unfavorable visa rules in India that do not allow for spousal work permits.  Guess What? I did a ctrl+F to find the word “H-4” in this article and to my surprise, there is absolutely no mention of U.S. visa rules pertaining to H-4 visa holders’ inability to work.  According to the article, the U.S. recognized work visa categories and “allows their spouses to seek employment freely or with the minimum of procedure”.  We all know that this statement is not complete.  Well, how could a discussion on spousal work permits in the U.S. immigration be complete without addressing the inability of H-4 spouses to seek employment?  In response to the said article, I provided my comments to the author:

Ms. Kathleen:

I read your article on outdated visa rules in India.  While I understand your argument that the rules should be relaxed so dependent spouses (husband or wife) could apply for work permit, it is quite important to note the reciprocity rules and how thousands of Indians are left to stay home without having an ability to work. 

For example, in the U.S., there are thousands of H-4 individuals, dependent visa holders of H-1B work permit visa holding spouses.  These H-4 folks are several times high in number compared to L-2 spouses, dependents of L-1s.  E-1 or E-2 is not available for Indian nationals.  This means that even though there are thousands of eligible H-4 spouses with college degrees, they are staying home doing nothing.  There is no rationale I can think of in allowing L-2 and E-2 spouses to work and not H-4 other than the rationale that if H-4 spouses are allowed to work, that would mean the H-1B quota is in essence twice in number because most H-4 spouses are well-qualified to get a job in the U.S. and will indeed get those jobs.  This narrow-minded, restrictive rule of not allowing H-4 spouses to work is missing in your article.       

If you want to truly raise your voice for spousal work permits, please include the H-4s in your future articles as well.  Your article is totally one-sided in its interpretation of US immigration laws, totally ignoring the most important visa category  – H-1B/H-4.  Any “work permit for spouses” argument cannot ignore the H-4 spousal work permits.  In fact, there are websites if you are interested in checking out.

Krishna Palagummi

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