H-4 Visa for Skilled Worker Dependents
Are you married to a foreign national who is coming to the U.S. or is already here under an H category visa? Alcorn Immigration Law can help you and your children apply for visas, enabling you to join your spouse.
The spouse and dependent children of H-1A, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 visa holders are eligible for H-4 visas.
Typically, H-4 visa candidates must apply at their local U.S. embassy or consulate office. However, if the individual is already in the U.S., she or he may obtain H-4 status by filing an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). H-4 visa holders are allowed to stay in the U.S. as long as the visa of the primary H-1A, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 holder remains valid.
H-4 visa holders are allowed to attend school, get a driver’s license, open bank accounts, and receive a Tax ID number. Some H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B may be eligible for a work permit. See H-4 Application for Employment Authorization for more information.
Spouses and dependent children may apply for H-4 visas concurrently with the primary H-1A, H-1B, H-2A, or H-3 applicant.
To apply for an H-4 visa, an applicant must be either:
- The spouse of an H-1A, H-1B, H-2A, or H-3 visa applicant or holder.
- An H-1A, H-1B, H-2A, or H-3 visa applicant or holder’s unmarried child under 21 years of age.
Application Process Outside the U.S.
Each applicant for an H-4 visa must file an online application Form DS-160 with the U.S. Department of State. Once the online Form DS-160 is filled out, print the confirmation page and bring it to the visa interview.
To fill out the online Form DS-160, each applicant will need:
- Passport info, including passport number, issue date, expiration date.
- A digital photograph that meet these requirements.
- The U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa interview will be held.
- Current and previous education and work history, mailing address, work address, income, and other info.
- The address of where she/he will be staying in the U.S.
- The name and address of any relatives living in the U.S., if applicable.
- Her/his U.S. social security number and your U.S. tax ID number, if applicable.
- The dates of travel to the U.S. during the past five years, if applicable.
After completing Form DS-160, applicants must:
- Schedule a visa interview appointment at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
- Bring the Form DS-160 confirmation page to the interview.
- Pay the application fee before the visa interview and bring the receipt to the interview. An additional visa issuance fee may be charged in some countries when the visa is approved.
Application Process in the U.S.
If the H-4 visa applicant is already residing in the U.S., the applicant must:
- File Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) with USCIS.
- Provide a copy of the front and back of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record).
- Evidence of each applicant’s relationship to the primary H-1A, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 holder, such as birth or marriage certificate.
- Provide one of the following:
- A copy of Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) filed by an employer on behalf of the primary H-1A, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 applicant.
- A copy of Form I-797 Receipt Notice for the H-1A, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 holder’s pending Form I-129
- Provide a copy of the front and back of the H-1A, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 holder’s most recent U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record).
- A copy of Form I-797 Approval Notice showing the H-1A, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 holder has been granted approval for the period requested in the H-4 application.
We Offer Immigration Help to Families
At Alcorn Immigration Law, we help individuals and their families find the best solution to legally come to the U.S., whether temporarily or permanently, to pursue their dreams. If you have any questions, contact us.
- If living outside the U.S.: $205 filing fee (U.S. State Department) + possible visa issuance fee depending on U.S. Embassy or Consulate location
- If living in the U.S.: $370 for Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status)
- Related Forms
- If living outside the U.S.: online Form DS-160
- If living in the U.S.: Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status)
- File Forms with supporting documentation
- If living outside of the U.S., schedule and appear for a visa interview
- Immigrant Intent
- None. At the airport, border, or other port of entry, you will need to satisfy the U.S. government officer that you have a residence in your home country and do not intend to abandon it. You must demonstrate that you are a nonimmigrant—that your visit to the U.S. will end after a specific amount of time.
- Who Qualifies
- Eligible spouse and dependent children
- Period of Stay
- Initial petition and Extensions: The duration of the primary H-1A, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 holder’s stay.
- An employer must apply for an extension on behalf of a H-1A, H-1B, H-2A, or H-2B visa holder.
- The dependents of the primary visa holders must apply for an extension on Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status)