H4 volunteer


sri26

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Hi- I am on H4 visa and doing volunteer work in non-profit research institute. Am I legal to volunteer as helper in research. Only my expectation is to add this experience in my CV.

 

Thanks

You can only volunteer where others in similar positions also volunteer.

Are the other people doing the same kind of work in that research institute paid?

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I am the only person who is helping in research work which  not include any defined project. Others where working on defined project of paid positions. The work I conduct would not be carried out or assigned if I dont volunteer.

Since there are no other volunteers in that lab in a similar position it would be considered as work. Why don't you ask the university's immigration team? They would clearly guide you.

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I have a similar situation. I am on H4 visa and was volunteering for research in a non-profit public university and there were two Research Associates (graduate students) being paid for doing the work. I was there only sometimes, like maybe once or twice a month and helping sometimes with carrying out data collection. Now, I have gotten a teaching position where the university (a different one), is ready to file for my H1b.

I did show my volunteer experience during this interview, and I want to know if its alright to show this on my resume for H1b filing to USCIS.

I am really stressed as I did not all this time that this might be a problem.

Please can someone help me.

 

Thank you 

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Hi

 

I am a scientist in India..my husband is in US for work assignment on H1B and I am planning to join him in May. I will be on H4 visa. There is a university near by my residence in US and while I am in US, I want to visit a certain lab in the university to enhance my knowledge on certain fields of Cancer biology and I will not be paid, it would be a volunteer participation to enhance my knowledge on the topic. the professor of the lab has no issues if I visit his lab voluntarily and learn few things. But I wanted to know, will it be a problem for me to visit the lab while I am on h4 visa. Kindly advise.

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Hi

 

I am a scientist in India..my husband is in US for work assignment on H1B and I am planning to join him in May. I will be on H4 visa. There is a university near by my residence in US and while I am in US, I want to visit a certain lab in the university to enhance my knowledge on certain fields of Cancer biology and I will not be paid, it would be a volunteer participation to enhance my knowledge on the topic. the professor of the lab has no issues if I visit his lab voluntarily and learn few things. But I wanted to know, will it be a problem for me to visit the lab while I am on h4 visa. Kindly advise.

Many faculties have no idea about being on a H4 status and volunteering. You need to talk to immigration department of that university before you take up that position.

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I have a similar situation. I am on H4 visa and was volunteering for research in a non-profit public university and there were two Research Associates (graduate students) being paid for doing the work. I was there only sometimes, like maybe once or twice a month and helping sometimes with carrying out data collection. Now, I have gotten a teaching position where the university (a different one), is ready to file for my H1b.

I did show my volunteer experience during this interview, and I want to know if its alright to show this on my resume for H1b filing to USCIS.

I am really stressed as I did not all this time that this might be a problem.

Please can someone help me.

 

Thank you 

I believe that is illegal work.

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Hi

 

I am a scientist in India..my husband is in US for work assignment on H1B and I am planning to join him in May. I will be on H4 visa. There is a university near by my residence in US and while I am in US, I want to visit a certain lab in the university to enhance my knowledge on certain fields of Cancer biology and I will not be paid, it would be a volunteer participation to enhance my knowledge on the topic. the professor of the lab has no issues if I visit his lab voluntarily and learn few things. But I wanted to know, will it be a problem for me to visit the lab while I am on h4 visa. Kindly advise.

The professor may not have a problem with it, but the university administration and HR are very likely to have problems with it.

There are liability issues (e.g., who pays if you happen to get injured there), there are issues of intellectual property (in particular in fields like this, where it could be possible that your help ends up in a new cancer treatment, and then the question would be, who owns it and can sell it to the drug companies), etc. etc.

And there are likely to be issues for the H4, because this is likely considered work, which isn't allowed on H4.

 

You can read the published scientific papers in your field, that's pretty much it on H4.

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There are most likely also liability issues, so I don't think it is possible.

JoeF, can you please help me. I was in the university in their system as a non-paid volunteer and all i did was understand the research the prof was doing, since his work was close to mine. I volunteered on H4 visa and did not know that even if we do not take money it can create problem. I also helped him sometimes (like 5-6 times) in data collection, i.e., only 6 participants and it was all voluntarily. My being there did not effect the number of RAs he had and also there was another American citizen volunteering, infact she was really involved, while I was part time. Will this be a problem if I show it in my resume for H1B petition.

I did not know about this and have added it in my resume, I wish I would have checked before I volunteered I thought I was doing nothing wrong because I never got a penny from him, also I paid for my own parking and everything

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JoeF, can you please help me. I was in the university in their system as a non-paid volunteer and all i did was understand the research the prof was doing, since his work was close to mine. I volunteered on H4 visa and did not know that even if we do not take money it can create problem. I also helped him sometimes (like 5-6 times) in data collection, i.e., only 6 participants and it was all voluntarily. My being there did not effect the number of RAs he had and also there was another American citizen volunteering, infact she was really involved, while I was part time. Will this be a problem if I show it in my resume for H1B petition.

I did not know about this and have added it in my resume, I wish I would have checked before I volunteered I thought I was doing nothing wrong because I never got a penny from him, also I paid for my own parking and everything

You need to discuss your situation with a good immigration lawyer.

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But, I never got paid in any way, There was one other volunteer who was an American and doing the same thing Infact, she was more involved in volunteering than I was. How do I tell my employers that this was an innocent mistake. 

 

What a US citizen is permitted to do is not governed by immigration law. You cannot do everything a USC or even a LPR is permitted to do.

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FYI,  Had you contacted the DSO at the university, it may have been possible to get a visa to allow you to participate more fully in the research.  In the future for immigration questions at a university, ask the DSO not the supervising faculty member.

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