The Department of Homeland Security recently announced a proposal that would allow dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders, who hold an H-4 visa, the ability to gain employment while waiting for green cards. This news comes as a welcomed surprise by Asian couples living in the United States. According to the Global Times, more than 50,000 India-natives who live in the U.S. and hold H-4 visas are jobless.
“It will be a boon especially for Indian women in the U.S.,” Mrs. Prasad, an H-4 visa holder who requested not to disclose her first name, told the Global Times. “I have been here nearly three years after my marriage to a software engineer in a leading IT consultancy firm in California. My H-4 visa does not allow me to take up employment. And, being jobless is depressing, boring and makes me feel excluded.”
Currently, many individuals who are in the same situation as Prasad suffer from depression and other emotional issues because they are far from their families and unable to contribute to society.
More good news was announced for individuals in China who wish to visit the United States, as well. The U.S. Embassy in China will begin streamlining the visa application process by implementing a new fee payment, visa appointment and document delivery system beginning March 16. This online system is already being used by several countries, according to Northwest Asian Weekly.
Applicants will be required to pay the existing fee of $160, but will no longer need to pay additional costs for scheduling appointments and arranging for the return of their passports. There is now an option to pay online, and check the status of an application via the internet.