Anupama’s Story

This is Anupama’s story in her own words. A scientist who had dreams of building a career that would utilize her knowledge in science and research.

#LoveForScienceKeptMeGoing #SaveH4EAD

“I am Anupama , I am working as an Associate scientist at a major Biopharma company, I am able to work due to H4EAD, which is in jeopardy now, as the administration is planning to rescind the program.

I hold a Bachelor in Engineering in Biotechnology and Masters in Environmental Engineering and have an international paper published on my research work when I was based in India.

I moved to the US in 2013 as a dependent on H4 but then I had accepted the fact it is the rule of the land, but later I realized that every other dependent class visa is allowed to work but not H4.

Then there came hope when the rule of H4EAD came into effect in 2015. Well it was not easy after that either to get the the place where I am now. I received my EAD in mid 2016 and then I started working towards my passion (research and science), getting back to the industry I work in was a very difficult process, but I did not give up hope.

I took up a part time job as STEM instructor for preschool kids with the concept of building scientific aptitude in them and it was a great experience for everyone, the kids still recognize me as their science teacher.

After one year of stressful and dedicated effort I landed up in my dream job and then I hear the fall agenda for 2018, well my Christmas was not merry due to the fact I would not be able to work if the program was revoked. The pain, the fear, the stress, the anxiety of losing the passion of my life is cruel & inhumane, I am working for the skills, the knowledge, education and my passion towards Research and Science I have in me.

It’s cruel to snatch away a toy from a happy kid, and unfortunately the kid is me and many more here, well kids may even forget, but how can I ?

It will be forcing us to be a single income family.

If the administration for once looks at the brighter side for having the program — Most of the beneficiary are Women in the program, it is equal rights for employment in gender and empowerment of women in every field.

I am contributing my skills, research, knowledge and efforts in making America Great.

To summarize, Our married life began in the US, Our Home is in the US, Our Son was Born in the US, Our Work is For the US, why take it away? It would affect us so badly both psychologically & financially.

A humble request to the administration to reconsider the program and bring up a better solution other than rescinding it. Please do not disrupt our life by forcing us into single income family. I love my Identity please do not take it away from me.”

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Shri’s Story

This is Shri’s story in her own words.

#ADaughterWhoWantsToTakeCareOfHerMother #SaveH4EAD

 “I worked as an assistant professor in India. Coming to the US and settling down here was never ever my dream but I came here in 2009 for the sake of my family life. My husband got his project and I came with him and my 3 year old son, of course on dependent visa. Because of our visa extensions and stamping issues it’s almost been 5 years I couldn’t meet my mom and family members, in between I got pregnant and delivered a baby without getting any help from any family members. Staying at home, cooking, cleaning and being dependent for almost everything on my husband, I felt depressed and gained lot of health issues.

Somehow I managed to motivate myself and started volunteer work. I volunteered in Elementary schools and libraries for around 4 years.

 Now in my current situation when I am working on EAD, I wanted to take care of my mom (who is 68 years old) who lives in my country, with my own earned money to avoid other family issues.

 But now I feel like killing myself as i think about how I am going to take care of my mom at this age. Revoking my work permit will make me and my mom dependent on some one again. This is surely going to create lots of family issues and mental trauma for me.”

Story of a New Mom’s woes

This is the story of a new mom who took a maternity break and now may never go back to work.

 #EngineeringGraduateWhoJustWantsToWorkAgain #SaveH4EAD

 “I am a BE graduate from Bangalore with 6 plus years experience. I came here in March 2014 on an H4 visa. I got H1B in Oct 2014 and started working from Nov 2014 to June 2017. I had to switch to H4 for my maternity break so I changed my status from H1b to H4 hoping I could apply for H4 EAD and get back to work after a year. But later I was so disappointed that DHS was going to rescind H4 EADs. I have applied for it 2 weeks ago  and haven’t received a receipt number yet. At this point I don’t know if I will ever be able to get back to work because of my current visa status.”

Story of a Master’s degree holder with big dreams

This is the story of a Master’s degree holder, in her own words.

#WeWantedToBuyOurOwnHomeSoon #SaveH4EAD

“May 26, 2015 was the day we actually could sense freedom of independence on financial front !!

In our home country, I have studied hard for years to be highly qualified nurturing the thought of being financially independent. Being able to take care of my own expenses and live on my own terms. I did my Bachelors and Masters, then studied for Company Secretary. And finally landed myself a good job back in India. Now fate played its role and I left my job and moved to US in March 2009 on an H4 visa (not knowing much about being on H4 visa and that it would totally shatter my dream of being financial independent). I could shop, spend my husband’s money, have a family but not have any existence/ identity of my own professionally !!

Then one fine day came H4EAD which actually allowed our dreams to come true. So I started studying for the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) course. Now, it was time to reap the benefits of hard work I had put in all my life and specially for the last 2 years by landing myself a lucrative job. But all seems to go in vain if H4EAD is revoked.

Now after 2 years, revoking H4EAD would not only pull us back to the state where we were, but the efforts we put in would become waste too. Our future seems so uncertain now.

We want to buy our own home, give our kids a better living, a stable future and also enjoy life just as any American family wants to. But with H4EAD revocation, we would be forced to move out of US with a kid born and brought up in US and now almost 7 years, it would be difficult.

H4 EAD bill was passed only after careful consideration for only those immigrants who have applied for GC, have lived in US for 6+years and have I-140 approved. So it was given to US citizens in-waiting who are just stuck up in the vicious cycle of green card backlog. So this H4EAD was supposed to be a bridge of dreams for the future workforce.

As H4EAD holders, we apply for job and get recruited on the basis of our skills and abilities, not to mention only after competing with other candidates in a fair manner. It’s not a privilege.

Most of the spouses on H4 visa are highly qualified and are looking for ways to contribute to their families, society and the country.

We are legal immigrants, pay all our taxes and dues on time and thus contribute to the economy of US.

Finally, It’s a humble request to take into consideration the repercussions of revoking H4EAD and hardships it would bring on the law-abiding future citizens of this country.

Please #saveH4EAD. Thanks in advance!!”

Aparna’s story

This is Aparna’s story in her own words. An eCommerce technology manager who had to leave her job the moment she got converted from one visa category to H4. Frustrated she decided to sell her real estate property in India to fund her masters degree. Now pleads to Save H4EAD.

#MyOnlySinwasthatIgotConvertedfromL2toH4 #MyDreamsAreStillValid #SaveH4EAD

“I am a computer science and engineering graduate from a prestigious Indian university and I came to US in 2009 on a L2 visa after marriage. I was working in a fortune 500 company as an eCommerce technology manager at the time of marriage and being on a L2 visa made it possible for me to continue working in the US. I had the right work experience in a highly specialized technology due to which I got multiple job offers simultaneously from leading e-commerce companies in US. I started working in the US immediately after moving in. My skill sets were valued highly at my workplace and I was planning to work towards starting a small company myself in this niche space after a few more years of work experience in US. In October 2011, my husband switched to a H1 visa from his L1 visa when he was offered a role of an executive director at a leading financial services company in New York. Little did I know that this change would mean the end of my career. I had to move to a H4 visa as I could no longer continue working with a L2 visa. My H4 status was enough for the employers to dismiss considering my case since they knew that they had to go through a long legal process of sponsoring my H1 visa and wait for me to get picked up in the H1 lottery before I could start working for them. The frustration of having the right skills and experience but unable to put them to use and watching years fly by without able to take any right step towards my goal was taking a toll on my health.

The effects of H4 was crippling me from inside and made me question the very decision to remain in US.On the other hand, the thought that my husband’s professional growth at a crucial time of his career was equally important for him made me silently look for alternative ways to take my career forward without succumbing to the current visa hurdle.I decided to fund my masters degree in US. At that point our monthly expenses and medical bills were taking up a huge chunk of our only income after I became unemployed due to H4 visa . I hence decided to sell my real estate property in India to fund my masters degree.Reality hit me hard when I paid a large amount of my sales proceeds towards tax to the US government more than what I would have paid in India due to differences in the tax laws between the two
countries.I realized that as a H4 holder I was not allowed to open a bank account or a SSN or be part of any income generating avenues but when it came to taxes, I was treated on par with everyone else.The system was clearly working against H4 holders in all possible ways.

This is when the H4 visa movement began and it was heart breaking to hear the stories of so many young, talented and aspiring men/women like me facing a similar fate due to their visa status.After years of struggle there was light at the end of the tunnel when the H4 work authorization rule was finally passed. The very thought that I could be independent now and start chasing my dreams was clearly improving my
health and family relationship.To snatch away this dream again at a point where its now a do or die situation for many families and women in particular who have already spent a lot of their prime years of their careers in US on the road to their permanent residence is heart breaking.
I also learnt from fellow H4 holders that no matter what our qualifications are,we are all being viewed just as a visa number and our talents did not matter.

This system is clearly not fair for so many of us fighting its peril day in and day out.I have stayed in US for more than 8 years now and my husband is stuck in the H1 backlog for his permanent residency which may take a lifetime in the current scenario.Taking away the H4 work authorization at this critical point in time is unfair to the many highly skilled immigrants families.The fact that we high skilled immigrants have talent, right educational qualifications and great aspirations to become entrepreneurs, pioneers and leaders in our respective fields but are still put to this ordeal because of our country of birth and visa status is beyond comprehension.

The famous line from Kenyan Mexican actress Lupita Nyong, who graduated from a reputed US university , “No matter where you come from, your dreams are valid’ is really the need of this hour.
I request that the congress and USCIS to keep the H4 EAD rule intact and make US a better place to live for all the young families who are aspiring to dream big and achieve big in the US which I strongly believe is rightly called the land of opportunities.”

Debashree’s story

Debashree’s story in her own words, An MNC project manager working on multi-million dollar projects, questions the notion “USA- a country of opportunity” when her fate seems to be swinging.

#IamHighlySkilledTaxPayingLegalImmigrant #WHATWRONGHAVEIDONE #SaveH4EAD

“America is called the land of opportunity because this country has always allowed foreigners to enter and create a life for themselves. America gives any walk of life the opportunity to succeed.”

I feel every individual comes here with certain dreams. I am a computer engineer with 10 years of experience in IT program management. I have worked for large multinational companies in my career. After getting H4EAD I am currently working as a program manager in one of the multinational IT companies in USA handling global billion dollar It infrastructure projects.

H4 EAD has given me the chance to live my life, create my own identity on merit and get financial independence. With my expertise and talent I am contributing immensely to the profit of the organization as well as to the economy of United states of America. I pay my taxes on time, invested in real estate’s due to increased income in the family, invested in cars etc.

History Of United States of America shows that this county is greatly benefited by immigrants. Immigrants are willing to take that extra step to make the difference. Stopping H4 EAD will not only shatter my dreams and identity but also many lives and future of deserving ,talented and hardworking people will be ruined. H4EAD is a boon for the ambitious talented women who are not only supporting their family but are role model for their kids as well as the society.

Government reforms talks about women empowerment and H4EAD holders consists of women majority. If H4 EAD is revoked the most affected population would be women. My sincere and humble request to President Trump – “PLEASE DO NOT REVOKE THE BASIC RIGHT TO WORK FOR HIGHLY SKILLED TAX PAYING LEGAL IMMIGRANTS”.

Kanupriya’s story

This is Kanupriya’s story in her own words. An MBA executive who came to US with high hopes found herself tied up for even basic rights now pleads to save her identity by saving H4EAD.

#IWentFromH4ToF1 #DontLetMeGoNowtoNoWhere #SaveH4EAD

“I came to United States after completing an MBA with distinction and working in the industry for around six years. Before arriving to the States, I was quite hopeful that I will find a sponsor who would file for my H1B visa. But after doing my research for several months, I found that it is nearly next to impossible if you do not have a US working experience and that too coming from a non-STEM background. I have always been an independent and strong girl not relying on my parents to take any decision for me and also making sure to handle my financial responsibilities. But here, I had to depend on my spouse for a bank account, driving and not even having a SSN. It was an inexplicable feeling seeing your husband going out for work everyday and while I waited for him at end of the day alone doing household chores.

After several deliberations and not letting my time go waste, I did another Masters degree to gain additional knowledge and become eligible to enter the US workforce. This was a big financial decision for us as we both were new to this country with almost no savings and had to take a loan to pay off the student fees. I transferred my visa status from H4 to F1 to gain some practical knowledge and after doing several internships on a student visa with a highly reputed company, I was able to join the workforce again. After the H4EAD rule came in 2015, I came back again on H4 which seemed a more flexible and stable choice to us while we wait for our GC to come. Now with the possibility of revocation of this policy, I feel that all my energy, time, effort and resources used would all go in vain. This opportunity not only helped me raise to gain financial independence but was also an important step towards achieving my career goals. Losing this work authorization would not only result in financial losses like inability to pay loans, cost of living expenses etc., but also pushing towards melancholy.

This is a humble request to please remain this rule valid as we all are important and skillful assets who are very much interested to contribute towards the state and national economy. It is not only about the ability to right to work but also about ensuring self-confidence, dignity and independence.”