If your spouse is visiting the United States for training or work, then you can accompany your spouse by applying for an H4 work visa. The H-4 visa program allows the spouse and unmarried children of an H visa holder to remain in the United States for the duration of the job or training program.
To qualify for an H-4 visa you must pass the below-listed prerequisite:
- You are the legal spouse of an H visa holder.
- You are the unmarried minor child of an H visa holder.
- H visas can include the H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B and H-3 visa:
H 1B Visa: For temporary workers in the United States who work in specialized professions.
H-1B1 Visa: For temporary skilled workers in the United States of Chile or Singapore.
H-2A Visa: For temporary agricultural employees in the United States.
H 2B Visa: For temporary non-agricultural workers in the United States.
H-3 Visa: For apprentices and students of the special education program in the United States.
If your spouse or parent meets any of the above requirements and has the proper visa, then you may qualify for an H-4 visa.
Children of H-visa holders who are over 21 years of age are not allowed to apply for the H-4 visa. The visa is based on the assumption that you are a “dependent” of the H visa holder, and people over the age of 21 are not considered dependents.
How to apply for an H-4 visa
The application process for the H-4 visa is performed in a similar way to other US non-immigrant visas.
First, you must go through the United States embassy or consulate through which your spouse or parent applied for your H visa. However, if you have a different nationality than your spouse or parent, you must apply for the H-XNUMX visa in your country of origin. If you are currently in the United States, you can submit an H-XNUMX visa application to the USCIS.
Step 1) Complete Form DS-160: Once you have identified the United States embassy you wish to work with, you must complete Form DS-160. The form is available online through the local U.S. embassy website by completing the form, you will receive a barcode.
Step 2) Pay the fee: The H-4 visa comes with a fee of $ 190. You will need to pay this fee to proceed to the next step.
Step 3) Schedule your interview: After paying your visa application fee, you can schedule your interview with your local US embassy or consulate.
Step 4) Gather essential Documentations: You may need to bring all of the following documents to your interview:
- A valid passport that will remain valid during your stay in the United States.
- Any old passport.
- A photograph that meets the United States visa requirements.
- Confirmation page of form DS-160.
- Receipt proving that you have paid the visa fees.
- Confirmation letter of the scheduled interview.
- Photocopy of your parent or spouses I-129 form, I-797 form and Labor
- Certification Application (LCA) if necessary.
- Copy of the H visa of your spouse or parent.
- Copy of your parent or spouses letter of a job offer from the US employer.
- If your spouse or parent is already working in the United States, you may need copies of pay stubs and tax returns.
- Copy of your marriage certificate (if you are married to an H visa holder).
- Other proof of valid marriage including: photographs, receipts for wedding
- Expenses, a wedding guest list, and additional marriage documents.
- An original birth certificate (if you are the child of an H visa holder).
Step 5) Attend the interview: Attend the visa interview at your local US embassy or consulate. The interview is simple. You will be asked questions to verify your relationship with the H visa holder. Your fingerprints may be taken. The interviewer also needs to verify that you do not under no circumstance intended to remain in the United States afterward.
How long does it take to process an H-4 visa?
The H-4 visa can take 3-5 weeks to process. However, there may be delays depending on the processing of the H visa of your spouse or parent. If there are delays with your spouse or parent’s H visa, then your H-4 visa will also take longer to process.
How long can I stay in the United States on an H-4 visa?
The H-4 visa allows you to stay in the United States for as long as your visa indicates that you can stay. Generally, the H-4 visa lasts as long as the H visa of your spouse or parent.
In lots of cases, your parent or spouse might choose to extend the H visa. If your parent or spouse is requesting an extension, you are also eligible to request an extension. You can achieve this by filing Form I-539, Application to Extend / Change Nonimmigrant Status.
To qualify for an extension, you may also be required to submit a copy of your most recent Form I-94, a copy of your spouse’s or parents’ Form I-94, a copy of I-129 and I-797, and proof of your relationship to the H visa holder (such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate).
Can I apply for a change of status or a green card with an H-4 visa?
Applying for a change of status as an H-4 visa holder is very rare. However, it is possible to change your status by receiving sponsorship from an employer or family member. In this case, you can change your status with a different work visa and even an immigrant visa in search of a green card.
What can I do while in the United States on an H-4 visa?
The H-4 visa allows its holder to carry out the following activities:
Entering the United States with or after the H visa holder: You can arrive in the United States with the H visa holder or after the H visa holder. You cannot arrive in the United States before the holder arrives of the H.
Leaving and returning to the United States at any time: As an H-XNUMX visa holder, you can leave the United States and return at any time once you are in the country on an H-XNUMX visa. As long as your visa has not expired and you have arrived in the country with or after the H visa holder, you should have no problem leaving and returning to the United States.
Study: H-4 visa holders can enroll in academic courses or programs. In general, you have the same rights to study as an F-1 student visa holder. However, it is generally recommended that you apply for an F-1 student visa if you are accepted to study in the United States.
Work: Starting in the year XNUMX, holders of the H-XNUMX visa can work in the United States under certain conditions. You need to receive an EAD, which first requires a job offer. You are allowed to work if your spouse or parent is on an H-XNUMXB visa, although you are not allowed to work if your spouse or parent has an H-XNUMXBXNUMX visa, an H-XNUMXA visa, an H-XNUMXB visa, or a visa. H-XNUMX.
By following the guide above, you can simplify the process of applying for and receiving your H-4 visa.