Foreign Workers' Spouses Often Stuck in Limbo

"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 volunteer work, start families or simply stay home." - Seattle Times, May 5, 2013.