Shah received her master’s degree in computer science from Columbia University in 2010 and landed a job as a developer for a Silicon Valley tech company where she was given an H1-B worker visa.
About five years later, Sanghavi took a sabbatical from his MBA program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management to launch BauxBax. That’s when he got an H-4 visa, which was tied to Shah’s H1-B. H-4 visas are given to spouses and dependents of H-1B workers. Unlike student visas, they allow the holder to work or to launch a business.
But Shah’s H1-B visa expires in August and she will need to seek a renewal soon. “If my wife loses her H-1B visa for some reason, I will also lose my visa,” he said.
The couple is especially nervous because the Trump administration has said it is toughening its stance on H1-Bs. In February, US Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a memo noting that it will require more information about an H-1B applicant’s employment to ensure the worker is doing what they are hired for. It also said it may limit the length of the visa to less than three years.
One glimmer of hope is that Shah applied for her green card six years ago. If she is granted permanent resident status, Sanghavi would also be able to remain in the country. However, approval could take several more years.
“If my wife for whatever reason is unable to renew her H-1B, then we are without status. I would have within 30 days of the denial to shut down my company and leave the country,” he said.
This impacts more than just the couple.
BauBax, which is 100% owned by Sanghavi, employs six full-time workers at its Redmond, Washington, office and 11 contractors who work remotely.
Sob stories like this one disgust me.
Not because of the people because these folks knew it was illegal for them to start a company on a non-immigrant guest worker visa.
Because the reporters do not ask any detailed questions.
Like the nationality of the employees.
As for the sob story, he can easily move this country to India, so I don’t feel sorry for him at all.
Or is the real story that he fears losing access to the American Market?