Will it be considered illegal if I work in H4, even though the work is done online for a company that is based in Bhutan?

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Will it be considered illegal if I work in H4, even though the work is done online for a company that is based in Bhutan?

I am from Bhutan. I am staying in H4 visa for the last 12 months. I have 4 year of work experience in my county before coming here. After coming to the US, I was doing online business for the last 1 year. Since I should not work in the H4 visa, I have designed my business accounting to be based in my country. In other words, I am based in the US, but my business and all it’s accounting is based in Bhutan. Now I am planning to apply for a job and get a H1B. Can I show my one year of online experience in my resume?

Asked on December 16, 2013 under Immigration Law, North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

An H-4 visa is a visa issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the H-1B visa holders.[1]

USCIS allows immediate family members of H visa holders (H-1A, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3) to get H-4 visas to lawfully come and stay in the US. These visas are usually issued at the local US consulate office abroad. However, if the person is already in US, he or she can obtain H-4 status by filing Form I-539 for change of status.[2]

H-4 visa holders are not eligible to get a Social Security Number and cannot be employed, but they can hold a driver's license, open bank accounts, and get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number for US tax purposes.

Family members may alternatively be admitted in other non-immigrant categories for which they qualify, such as the F-1 category for children or spouses who will be students or the H-1B category for a spouse whose employer has also obtained approval of an H-1B visa petition to employ the spouse. An H-4 visa holder is admitted to the US for the duration of the primary (H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3) visa validity.

Since H-4 visa holders are not issued a social security number, an ITIN (Individual tax identification number) should be obtained before filing for joint tax returns by filing Form W-7. They are not authorized to work in the United States, though they are allowed to study.

I would not show your online work experience under your H4 visa becaiuse under it you are not allowed to work.


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