People. Stuck by Status. August 2018. Nisha (a pseudonym) emigrated to America in 2015 on an H-4 visa status that did not allow her to work in the U.S. Her husband, an H1-B visa holder, provided all their household income but he became physically and emotionally abusive. "If I tell you to arrest him, how will I survive here?” Since 2015, 100,000 H-4 visa holders have applied for work permits. Critics of the H-4 work authorization say the program is a threat to American jobs. Nisha, who also cares for her young child, is waiting to finalize her divorce and was granted a work permit in 2018, which only gives her two years to figure out another visa status — such as getting an H-1B of her own.