How to Deal with Loneliness H4 Visa in the US

Updated: Aug 11

We all know that each year thousands if not lakhs of people come to the United States on the dependent H4 Visa. A large part of that population are South Asian women. Women who are highly qualified, highly skilled and usually with a good body of work experience. After the initial few months of new marital bliss, reality strikes and their life usually come to a standstill as a result of their visa status that doesn’t allow them to work.


The psychological effects of the H4 visa or dependent visa range from a sense of loneliness, entrapment, helplessness to self-doubt and at times self-hatred.


Here's also a video about the same Guide that you can watch on our YouTube channel. Please consider of subscribing to our channel as well. We create a lot of content on varied topics for Immigrants.


As someone had told us a while back, Loneliness is one of the biggest problems, not because they don’t want to venture out and meet others, but one seldom likes talking to others when they are depressed. They tend to think they shouldn’t talk to anyone because all they could talk about was their plight and their forced joblessness.


A lot of people asked us to write a guide on how to cope with Loneliness on H4 Visa in the US. Honestly speaking, we are not qualified enough to create a Guide on a topic like this or help anyone through depression (Please talk to a therapist. They are better equipped to help you). Each person has their own battles and demons to fight, and everyone’s journey is different.


But what we can do is share an approach that worked for us and a few other people we know.


However, we need to keep in mind that the following approaches are not meant for the sake of keeping you busy or distracted but they are meant to help you in your journey of finding your voice in this new country, settle down and thereby finding yourself or re-inventing yourself once again. Because it is very easy to think, “All this is fine. But I still don’t have a job and I’m not earning money”. We Desis have this habit of attaching our occupation to our self-worth. But we need to understand that we’re a lot more than our occupation.


So, after a large paragraph of gyaan, here are things that you can do to deal with loneliness on a dependent visa.


Woman drinking coffee, sad man, and a dreaming woman
Dealing with Loneliness as a Dependent

Things to do to deal with your Loneliness


Acceptance:


Let's start with a truth bomb.

Accept the fact that this is only a phase, and it will end soon. It’s true that life on a dependent visa can be miserable and probably is. But remember that nobody forced us to leave our jobs and get married. And no matter what you do or blame the rules, there is nothing you can do to change the rules. But what you can do is, accept the current situation and prepare for the future. Of course, it is easier said than done. But you need to remember that you’re not alone. There are lakhs of people just like you.


Volunteering on H4 Visa


We can’t stress this enough. In fact, we’ve created a Guide that help you find volunteering opportunities in areas of your interest and background. Volunteering gives you a peak into the elusive US work experience that you’ll eventually need when you qualify to work in the United States. And the joy of meeting like minded people while making the world a better place can be matched by very few things in life.


Certifications


Understandably, there will be a gap in your Resume by the time you qualify to work in the US and some of your skillsets might no longer be needed or be relevant in the industry. Therefore, it is important to keep yourself updated with the latest in the industry by taking some certification courses. Certifications are a great way to upskill and prepare yourself for the job market.

Do comment below if you want to us to create a Guide on Certifications that can help you in your Job Search later on.


Learn a Life Skill:


One of the cons of moving to a developed country is that you have to everything yourself. And for better or worse, most of us have learnt very few life skills before moving to the United States. By life skills we mean, Driving, Cooking, Assembling Furniture, using your toolbox to fix a few things, gardening etc.


Take driving for example: If you’re not in NYC or Boston or some other metro in the US that has a decent public transport system it is absolutely necessary for you to know driving else, you’ll be stuck in your homes or worse, end up spending a good amount of money on cabs even to get groceries.


In fact, one of the very first things that you should get in this country is your driving license. It’s great if you had one in India, because then you just need to give a written test. But if you didn’t have one back home, learning how to drive and getting a license should be the first thing on your to-do list. Just this one thing, will make you feel independent.


And the feeling of having fixed something at your house without anyone's help is beyond any other feeling.

Get out of your house more often:


One thing you’ll often hear people unaware of ground realities tell you is, “Make friends”, "find a hobby". But what they don’t know is that is easier said than done.


But then, how does one make new friends in a new country? Well, you won’t meet people if you don’t get out of your house. Yes, there’s social media friends and relationships. But meaningful connections are made face to face. Get out more often, join hobby clubs, go for meetups, sign up for networking events. For better or worse, in America no one is going to notice your talent or who you are if you don’t put yourself out there. Yes, you might find it difficult initially. But it will help you grow as a person.


One thing that helped a friend gain a lot of confidence was joining Toastmasters. It is a great way to not only meet new people, but also learn the accent and at the same time find the confidence you need to speak up in a room full of strangers.


Study further:


Not everyone might have the resources for it. But if you have and you think it will help you. Please go ahead and do your master’s or your PHD or your second masters here in the US. You will meet new people; you will no longer be a dependent if you change your status to F1 and you have an opportunity to get a job by the end of it.


Here's our quick Guide on how to change your status from H4 To F1 if you intend to study further


Reignite your passion:


Heavy words, right? What we mean to say is that social media & technology has opened up avenues for many of us to explore our passions.

Create your own website, blog about topics that motivates you, create content about things that drives you. Who know, you might just attract likeminded people through it


Find Mentors:


Find mentors in the US and keep in touch with your mentors back home. You’ll need them. Some of them have been in similar situations and you could maybe learn a thing or two from their experiences.


Learn how to Invest:


It is your path to financial independence. While as a dependent you are not allowed to work and earn money in the US, but you are allowed to have passive income. One of the best ways to make passive income is to invest in the stock market. Start small. There are plenty of Apps that allow you to trade in stocks as a retail investor. But even for that, you need to study about it and there’s no better time to do that than now.


See a therapist:


Moving to new country and settling down can be scary experience for a lot of us. People with the strongest of will powers sometimes need to talk to professionals to make sense of their situation. In such cases, talking to a therapist will help you greatly. What’s more, most insurances cover visit to a Mental Health professional. So, you may not end up spending a lot of money by seeing a therapist.


Reach out to South Asian Therapists in case you need to talk to some one


Netflix & Chill:


Everyone needs a break. Find that show, sit back and binge the hell out of it. And make sure you don’t feel guilty about it after you’ve done it. You deserve it.


To Conclude


We hope this list was of some help to you. Of course, there are plenty of other things that you can do to deal with loneliness and depression of being a dependent, but we’ve tried to keep the list as exhaustive as possible. Do let us know in comments what did you do to deal with loneliness.


Remember, it is not about keeping yourself busy for the day. But it is about finding yourself all over again.

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