Living in limbo: A glossary of terms related to the H-4 visa and the US immigration system

(File image) (KPRC via Pixabay)

Living in limbo is a continued in-depth series by KPRC 2 that delves into the challenges faced by hundreds of thousands of Indian women in the United States who stand to lose work authorization if President Donald Trump’s administration changes one rule. This series was made possible by a fellowship grant from the South Asian Journalists Association’s SAJA Reporting Fellowship Program. Read the full series here.

The U.S. immigration system can be a complicated sphere to navigate with lots of legal jargon and terms. In order to help readers follow KPRC 2′s coverage, here is a glossary of the most-used terms in the Living in Limbo series.

H-1B vias — Non-immigrant visa given to highly-skilled workers from other countries. The H-1B

H-4 visa — Dependent visa given to spouses and dependent children of H-1B workers. It is a restrictive visa on which one can study but not work.

F-1 visa — Visa given to people coming to the United States to study

EAD — Employment Authorization Document. EADs are available to multiple visa categories including some people on the H-4 visa

OPT — Optional Practical Training. This is the time period after a student on F-1 visa graduates, during which they may work.

I-140 — A petition filled out by an immigrant hoping to get permanent residency in the U.S. Once the petition is accepted, the immigrant is on the road to getting a Green Card.

DHS — Department of Homeland Security

USCIS — United States Citizenship and Immigration Services


Living in limbo

100K Indian women, many in Houston, could lose the ability to work if the Trump administration changes 1 rule

The Woodlands woman says company preyed on her desperation for a work visa

What local lawmakers think of the employment authorization for immigration spouses possibly being revoked

How US and Houston’s economies could take a hit if work authorization is revoked for 100K Indian women

Out of time and choices: Woman struggles to find work while walking tight-rope of immigration system

Lawmakers, business leaders flood DHS with dissent on revoking work authorization for immigrant spouses

These bills, lawsuit could impact the ability of 100K immigrant spouses to work in the US

‘If I lose my job, it’s game over for us’: Richmond couple’s struggle to find peace amidst 10-year immigration journey

FAQs: What is the H-4 visa and EAD?

Living in limbo: How and why we covered this story