We have talked about employment visas and high-skill visas in the past on this blog, usually in a way that describes the positives of the visas and what opportunities are created for the people who come to the United States on these visas. Today, we're going to look at something that isn't necessarily positive or negative -- it's merely a missed opportunity.
When someone comes to the U.S. on one of these employment or high-skill visas, they may have family that they want to bring along as well. For example, a husband or wife may want to join them during their time in the U.S. These is a process for this, and the spouse may receive a visa -- but a specific type that usually has certain limitations.
Take the H-1B visa as an example. It's a high-skill work visa. Usually people who obtain these visas have spouses who are of equal skill or intellect and, thus, their spouse is of high-skill too. However, the spouse can only obtain an H-4 visa in conjunction with their spouse receiving an H-1B visa. An H-4 visa does not allow the recipient to work in the U.S.
If you check out our source article, you can read about a family who obtained an H-1B visa and a H-4 visa. The woman who has the H-4 visa was an architect, but she can't apply those skills here in the U.S. -- even though she clearly has something to contribute. Hopefully in the near future, some changes to the law (or new laws) will make up for this missed opportunity in the realm of employment visas.
Source: Multi-American, "Spouses of high-skilled visa holders look forward to getting their own jobs," Leslie Berestein Rojas, Jan. 8, 2015