Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Foreign Workers’ Spouses Often Stuck in Limbo

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"Looking back now, Pallavi Dua admits she wasn’t prepared for the frustration of being surrounded by jobs for which she easily qualified but which were off-limits to her under U.S. immigration laws.  The wife of a Microsoft software engineer here on an H-1B visa, Dua’s status as an H-4 visa spouse did not permit her to work in the U.S. or get a Social Security number — leaving her financially dependent on her husband.  It’s a reality for the 27-year-old, who holds an MBA and for three years worked as a business analyst in New Delhi before joining her husband here two years ago. Dua is part of a select group of foreign residents, almost all of them women, more than half, like her, South Asian, and many of them holding at least one advanced degree.  While they wait, a lucky few persuade U.S. employers to apply on their behalf for a H-1B visa. Many others, like Dua, take college courses, adding to the degrees they already have. Still others do