What is an H4 visa?

An H4 Visa is issued to dependent family members of H temporary employment visa. In other words, it is available for the eligible family members of the following permit categories:

Once you get your dependent visa, you will be able to live in the U.S., pursue education, and open a bank account. You can also apply for an H4 Visa Work Permit.

How IAS can help with your H4 Visa process

Many H visa holders want to stay with their spouses or children while in the country.

If this is your case, you can apply for an H4 Visa. If you cannot wait to join your family in the U.S., and you want to submit your application without worrying about making mistakes, IAS is here to help.

Our immigration lawyers offer competent and reliable legal guidance. We can help you follow the best immigration path to save money and time. You will be paired with one of our professional immigration attorneys. You adviser will show you how to file your H4 application form to the highest standards and gather the required supporting documents.

To submit a successful H4 Visa application, get in touch with one of our immigration lawyers. You can call us on +1844 290 6312 or ask for a free call back from our staff.


What are the H4 Visa requirements?

To be eligible for an H4 Visa, you must meet the legal definition of “dependent”. This includes:

  • Spouses of non-US workers who qualify for an H Visa;
  • Children under the age of 21 of an approved H type visa older.

Children who are financially dependent from an H visa holder but are over the age of 21 cannot apply for this permit.

Since there is no cap on the number of H4 Visas issues, you can freely submit your petition as long as you meet the requirements.

What are the benefits of holding an H-4 Visa?

As part of your H4 Visa status, you can legally:

  • Apply for an H4 Visa Work Permit;
  • Get a driver license;
  • Pursue education in the U.S.,
  • Receive a social security number;
  • Open bank accounts.

In addition, you can apply for a change of status while in the US under the H4 Visa. For example, you can find an employer to sponsor your O1 Visa application, or enroll at a U.S. university under a Student Visa.

What is the H4 Visa application process?

To apply for an H4 Visa, you must file the Form DS-160 online. Do not forget to pay the application fee and to save the receipt: you will need it during your interview. The H4 Visa has the same cost as the other H types permits, that is $190.

After filing your petition, you can schedule your interview appointment. This will take place at the U.S. embassy in the country from which you are submitting your application.

There are no fixed H4 Visa interview questions. Based on your circumstances, the officer will investigate different aspects of your application. However, you will inevitably be asked questions about your marriage o relationship with the primary H Visa holder.

This interview is designed to identify people who may be part of a fake marriage to obtain a visa. In other words, you must demonstrate that your commitment to your family is genuine.

After the interview, you can check the status of your H4 Visa on the USCIS website with your application number. You will receive an official communication when your visa will be processed.

What are the required H4 Visa documents?

As part of your H4 Visa process, you will need to upload several documents. Your evidence must prove your marital or dependency status with the primary H type visa holder.

An adequate supporting portfolio must include at least the following:

  • Marriage certificate (original copy);
  • Birth Certificate;
  • Payslips from three months before your application, to show you can sustain yourself financially;
  • A copy of your passport;
  • A letter from the primary visa holder’s employer;
  • A copy of the principal H visa.

There is further documentation that you may wish to attach to your form to provide additional evidence. This includes:

  • Your wedding photo album
  • Pictures of the time you and your family have spent together;
  • Written statements from other people who know you both well;
  • Letters and correspondence with your family.

What is the H4 Visa processing time?

You H4 Visa processing time may vary based on the country from which you submitted your form. As a general rule, both the main H Visa and the dependent visa are processed together.

However, this only applies when both forms are filed together. If you submitted your H4 Visa application at a later time, you might incur in some delays.

Can I get an H4 Visa renewal?

The USCIS will release an H4 Visa that has the same validity of your H visa. Your authorized length of stay will be printed on your permit, and you are not allowed to overstay.

However, you can apply for an H4 Visa extension. You can do this by filing Form I-539 before your visa expires.

To be eligible for an H4 visa renewal, you must resubmit evidence of your relationship with the primary H visa holder.

Can I change my status from an H4 Visa to Green Card?

Your H4 status is linked to the main H visa holder’s permit. Most of the visas that fall into this category are dual intent, meaning they allow a change of status.

However, the H4 application process to get a Green Card may take too long, since your current date will not have a high priority. In other words, it may take several years for your change of status to be approved.

A better way to get residency status in the U.S. is to change first your H4 Visa to a different immigrant permit. At this point, your Green Card petition may be processed faster, and you will gain extra time in the country while you wait for your visa.

What is the H4 EAD Program?

In May 2015, H4 Visa holders officially became eligible to work in the U.S.

If you wish to apply for an H4 Visa Work Permit, you first need to receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). To be eligible for the H4 EAD, you must be the spouse or child of an H-1B Visa holder. Dependents of other H kind visas holders cannot be granted the EAD;

The H4 EAD allows you to work in any field and any legal job. You do not need an active employment offer, and you can start seeking a job only after you get the authorization. You are also allowed to start your own business and employ U.S. workers.

This status can be renewed as long as your family member maintains an H-1B status. If you wish to remain in the U.S. after this, you will need to apply for a different visa.

To get an H4 EAD to work in the U.S., you must file a Form I-765 and pay a fee of $410. Once again, you will be asked to provide evidence of your relationship with the H visa holder.

The H4 Visa EAD processing time is usually 90 days. Unfortunately, this permit is not eligible for premium processing, so you cannot pay to get a quicker response.

Do you need guidance on your H4 Visa application?

If you wish to join your family members in the U.S. while they are employed under an H type visa, we can help you with your H4 Visa process. However, this permit may be complicated to obtain, since the USCIS will carry out an extensive check of your case. Therefore, we are ready to offer the guidance of one of our best immigration lawyers.

Our services include:

  • Assess if you meet the H4 requirements;
  • Liaise with your family members living abroad;
  • Help you get your H4 EAD;
  • Offer guidance for H4 Visa renewal;

Call us on +1844 290 6312 or get in touch with our online contact form. One of our legal experts will be in touch with you at the earliest.

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