Shalini Sharma loves spending time at home with her two young sons, make no mistake. She loves being able to cheer on her youngest as he learns to ride a scooter, and helping her eldest with his homework.
But she really misses her work.
"I am an architect," said Sharma, who arrived in the U.S. almost six years ago. "I was a professional architect in India, and I was an interior designer. I had my own practice."
Sharma isn't your typical stay-at-home mom who traded career for kids. She's in the United States on what’s called an H-4 visa, granted to dependents of work visa holders. These are typically high-skilled workers on H-1B visas, more than two-thirds of whom are men.
These dependent spouses, many of them from South Asia, aren’t authorized to work in the U.S. But in many cases, they are as well-educated and skilled as their partners.