H-4 visa holders cannot work for financial remuneration. There are, however, no constrains on pursuing social work or volunteering for community service, provided you are not receiving a salary. They may volunteer only if the position in which they are interested has always been a volunteer position, and always will be. The Department of Labor (DOL) does not allow a dependent to volunteer for a position and then begin to receive compensation for performing the same duties once a change of immigration status is approved. It is illegal to volunteer for a productive position.
The system of work authorizations was set up to ensure that Americans are given the opportunity to earn money. By offering to work in a job without pay that an American would be paid for, an h4 visa holder is not only taking away somebody’s job, but is also underbidding and driving down the wages of other people.On the other hand, volunteering for a true volunteer position, for instance as a translator in a hospital, as a museum guide, helping with community events, volunteering at your local community organizations, school chaperone, or similar positions that Americans would also do without pay, then, volunteering would be legal.