“The United States of America”….is the land of opportunity, and independence is valued. The American dream is attainable, and everyone can succeed with hard work, determination and the “VISA STATUS”. Irrespective of your education, high ability skills, or career dreams you can not work, if do not have an employment authorization. The highly skilled spouses of H1b visa holders don’t know whom to blame, the Government , the visa authority, to ourselves for making the wrong choice of leaving our country/ job or for loving someone whom we didn’t asked there visa status before proposing them.
The long queue, the race, and the changing rules has become a nightmare….for many of us. We, the one time busy bees attending back to back client meetings, working on challenging projects are now sitting idle in pajama with coffee mug. Signing petition against revoking H4-EAD , forwarding whats app msgs in local groups to call/ text governing bodies so that they vote for us…has become an everyday duty. She doesn’t forget to check the application status for H4 EAD, which was applied about 100 days ago….and the status says “ CASE WAS RECEIVED”.
This agony, this wait is endless, wrapped up in negative vibes. It fills you with the feeling of lacking something. Logging to LinkedIn and see peers raising career graph, gives you stress.
I agree , that it’s good to wait for the bigger achievement, that you always have dream for. But is it alright to sit idle waiting for that one day to come? Wasting your time being sad.. NO!! absolutely not… you are not meant for this and you also know this very well.
How about keeping yourself happily engaged without that weekly/ fortnightly pay check? How about earning some happiness, some satisfaction, everyday? How about being a better person everyday? How about making memories before you have no time for it. So, lets spread our arms to embrace, lets blow in some fresh oxygen into our lungs….let us take the control of our own body and soul.
Be more responsible towards your own self.
Let me share with you my ideas of converting this monotonous wait into excitement. Our pajama days can magically be turned into something creative, something beautiful, something which you always wanted to do and never could due to lack of time..
I want you to be always thankful… Thank God!! I had time.
5 ways you can be happy alongwith your Visa status
1. Going Back to School:
Going back to school on H4 Visa is probably the best option. I would never say no to anyone going back to school to study. This is one of the best time to brush up your skills.
Let it be Graduate Certification Course to Degree or even other cost effective options instead of paying for a degree. Give yourself time, think and discuss it with your family, as it will add to your bio-data, experience and also will fill the gap in your career graph. While, I was waiting for my little one to be more independent, I took up a certification course. I studied, worked on projects, made friends. It was a total ” paisa vasool “( one of the best decision). I know, there are few pros and cons for schooling on H4.
For some, going back to study on H4 Visa is the best option. For others, I would recommend mixing of H4 and F1. For both the visa status, Its always better to look for all the alternatives which suit your priorities. Clarifying the questionnaires with the University or authority before taking admission is best.
A. Study in H4 Visa
Here’s some factors you need to consider before deciding to attend college in USA in H4 visa as
- Visa Status
- Career Goals
So, answer to your question depends on the visa situation and financial impact due to in-state and out-of-sate tuition fees and your career goals.
B. Study in F1 Visa
To study in F1 visa, you have to get admission and then apply for H4 to F1 Change of Status.
It’s simple process to apply for H4 to F1 Visa. You can do it online in 30 minutes.
One of the best things about life is that we never have to stop learning. There are always new skills to learn and techniques for us to adopt. So, it is never to late to acquire some new skills or brushing skills. You will be more happier.
2. Volunteering :
One can always volunteer at a non profit organization. “A H4 visa holder cannot hold a position that would otherwise be a paid position”… as per the USCIS guidelines on H4 visa. Look for something in your area that interests you. Volunteering for the project will take you through a free, one-time registration process. You will receive confirmation about the event. The day of the event, just show up and just serve!
Public library, school, church, temple are few options where you can work as per your interest. Its so much fun, also you get to learn so many things. One of my good decision, when I decided to volunteer at my son’s school. The smile at my son’s face use to widen when he saw me at his classroom volunteering.
You just need to get the T.B clearance, volunteer application and the finger printing for school volunteering. So, look in your neighborhood this weekend, some interesting event must be happening.
3. Acquire new skills
“ I am way to busy now, after coming to USA. I am learning dance, have a bunch of good friends , we keep meeting for potluck/ parties bday celebration, very often! Being in the IT sector I have always been busy back in India , now is the time, when I can be more me than ever before”, says a chirpy happy Rikparna ( TCS, Jave Developer) .
There are many reasons why to learn new skills.
It keeps you updated, makes you versatile and the best use of time while you are spending time with family on h4 in USA. Taking an hour off from your or kids schedule shouldn’t be a problem. So, go ahead find your interest and get going. You can learn swimming, any art/craft, dancing, music, cooking. Options for acquiring skills are endless. Choose as per your interest. Many of my friends are learning dancing, yoga, classical music etc. So , why to wait go for it.
4. Make new friends, get closer to new culture, exchange festivals.
When you step out of the house, get close to neighborhood, join community service than you start meeting new people. These acquaintance changes into friendship, and the proximity of progressive and positive people makes you a better person. I, myself have met beautiful human beings during my “back to school time” who are now my life long friends. And I certainly treasure them. Just be selective in choosing friends.
5. Start participating in cultural events
Now, a days we get to see the spread of various cultures and their festivals all over the world. People unite and celebrate festivals together which also give the chance to the younger generation to know and feel and get closer to their roots. The details of the events are easily available.
These events organize cultural programs, competitions, exhibition and celebration. That gives you the chance of showcasing your talents. Those applauds will surely motivate and encourage your talent. Even if you are not getting on to the stage you can wear a beautiful outfit, jewelry makeup and feel good about yourself and let the people be happy by your presence.
So this post is for all those who are waiting for “I do not know what” ?
All so called “dependents”…(don’t get into the literal meaning of this word pls, as you know you are NOT) . Get up…take the car keys, or go to the DMV OFFICE (if you don’t have a licence) pass the “written” and “behind the wheels tests”, take the driving licence and what else… use the GPS…set a destination and get going.
Do not forget to cook delicious food with your husband, play with your baby, and have a happy family time. On this road of learning your family plays the role of fuel in your car. Drive safe, drive happy…and reach the destination.
Don’t forget to update your Facebook status… as visa status is not and should not be the only status responsible for your happiness. WHATEVER YOU ARE H4, H4EAD, H1b ,F1,L1 or a HULK CARD HOLDER (Green card)….you are first “YOU”….and LET IT BE A BEAUTIFUL “YOU”.
Please share your success story, your experience, with us.
See you soon with a new page!! Happy Landings!!