Yes, H-4 visa holders can work part-time in the US., but only if they have Employment Authorization Document (EAD). EAD allows spouses of qualified H-1B visa holders to have part-time or full-time employment in the US as long as the H-1B and H-4 status are valid. You can apply for it by submitting Form I-765 with the required documents to the USCIS.
If you don't have an H-4 EAD, you may not perform any employment where you will receive salary or wage whatever the nature of work maybe and as long as you are inside the United States of America. That include jobs where you work remotely for an employer in your home country or any nations outside the US. The rule considers only the location where you perform the job and not the location of the remote employer. You are also not allowed build a physical or online business of any type without an EAD.
However, there is no law that forbids you from purchasing stocks, funds, and bonds which can give you passive income. You can also invest in businesses and earn dividends. Just make sure not to engage in the business operations because that too is not allowed.
Note: This is not a legal advice.
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