H4 is a wedding gift that a husband with H1 bestows upon his beloved wife. The gift looks attractive on your passport and can be a thing of jealously among your friends in India but the charm lasts as long as your honeymoon does. Once you come to the United States, H4 shows its true color. Oh yes! It just lets you stay (oh! thank you), but doesn’t allow you to do anything else (how about that!), of course you can breathe the air, eat the food and release the food, there’s no restriction. Welcome to the H4 Wives’ Club. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone here.
The reach of H4 is so little. It just gives you few, lame, irrelevant options that you can indulge in legally. You can enrol in a university or community college (the latter has minimum fee, and that’s a relief), provided you have your Tax Identification Number and if you have one, that’s great because then you can drive around too. Other option is finding an employer who’s willing to give you a work permit…this is a tough route. Or, choose the most commonly explored alternative…wait for your spouse to get his green card, then wait for yours to come. This looks tiring but the wait is worth because then you are a free bird. You see, H4 really puts chains around you and limits your mobility and your potential, and there’s really nothing much that you can do. But when one door closes, plenty other opens, as they say.
You are in the world’s most desired country and there are so many things that you can see and do. Take your H4 as an opportunity to indulge in things that you always dreamt of while working in India. For instance, you can learn a new language. It can be pretty exciting taking up Spanish or French lessons and flaunting your newly acquired skill with your girls. You can learn cooking and master the art and if you are a food lover, then US is like a huge buffet table. Go around; take a bite from here and there. Water lovers can do so much. The country has some amazing beaches that offer exciting water sports like BOB Diving, Parasailing, Jet Skiing and Kayaking. You can travel; travel to all those places the country is famous for – Niagara, Disney World, Hollywood, beaches of the Miami, and plenty of other exotic locales. Make friends and have a bag full of mixed candies – the Indians, Americans, Mexicans, Italians. Interacting with people from other communities will help you open your mind and make your friendship an enriching experience. If you enjoy dancing, you can enrol in a dance school and learn all those moves of the salsas and the hip hops.
The options are boundless. All you need to have is a things-to-do list, the willingness to do and of course liberate yourself from your inhibitions. If there’s a will, there is a way. So, while you are here and cannot do much in the professional front, why not learn a few new things and just enjoy this country. H4 does limit you but it doesn’t have to completely devour you. The curse of the H4 can be a blessing in disguise.