H-4 VISAS: SPOUSES & CHILDREN OF H1B VISA HOLDERS

H-4 Visas are a special category of visa designed for the spouses and children under the age of 21 of H-1B Visa holders. The status allows them to stay with the principal applicant, the H-1B Visa holder, in the US through the duration of the H-1B worker's status. These dependents should apply directly at a US consulate for their visas; the same I-129 approval notice is valid for them as for the principal applicant.

Those in the derivative status conferred by an H-4 visa are ineligible to work in the US. However, an H-4 visa does allow a derivative to study in the US.

Spouses and children requesting a change of status or extension of stay in a dependent nonimmigrant classification must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.

FREE Consultation| H-4 Visa | Dependent of H-1B Visa Holder

How to apply for H4 Visa (Consulate Processing or Change of Status within the U.S.)

A person who is a spouse or child of the H-1B holder is eligible for H-4 status or visa.  H-4 can be filed directly at the U.S. embassy or consulate by submitting a DS-160 (may be drop box eligible so long as any visa has been issued within the past 2-3 year and has no negative immigration history). The H-4 applicant is required to carry the original I-797 of the spouse along with recent pay stubs. Other relationship documents include but are not limited to: Passport with 6-month validity, Marriage Certificate (spouse); divorce decree (if applicable) joint bank statements, joint tax returns, joint property deeds, wedding cards, wedding albums, birth certificate of children. The applicant must carry all police records and court disposition records if s/he has had a criminal case.

H-4 can be also filed in the U.S. as a change of status from some other non-immigrant visa category so long as the applicant can prove that s/he has been maintaining a valid non-immigrant status and seeking to change his/her status prior to the expiration of current I-94. You should not file the change of status within 1st 90-day of your arrival in another visa status.

H-4 applicants filing change of status in the US are required to produce a valid H-1B I-797 of the spouse or parent along with 2-3 recent pay stubs. Please submit I-539 and Supplement (if applicable) along with the filing fee of $310.

How to apply for H4 EAD

Must be maintaining a valid H-4 status and the H-1B spouse must also be maintaining a valid H-1B status. (Both H-4 I-94 and H-1B I-94 must be valid and the H-1B spouse must produce 2-3 recent pay stubs).  Complete I-765 and attach 2 passport pictures along with the H-1B spouse's I-140 approval. The filing fee is $410.  

How to Change H4 visa to H1B Visa

It is possible to change your H-4 status to H-1B visa within the U.S. provided your H-4 I-94 is still valid and your spouse has been also maintaining a valid H-1B status and has a valid I-94 and can provide 2-3 recent pay stubs. An H-1B visa allows a foreign national to live and work in the United States. The job or work must be professional and the foreign national must have a U.S. equivalent bachelor's degree in the relevant field and can work only for the H-1B sponsoring employer. An H-1B is a temporary work visa given in 3-year increment for up to 6-year. The US employer can apply for a Green Card and convert the H-1B visa into a Green Card.


How do I get an H1B visa? 
  1. Find a US Employer who needs your professional services in the field of your expertise.
  2. Once the hiring is done and the offer letter is signed, the H-1B sponsoring Employer will collect your resume and copies of your passport, degree, diploma, transcripts, and job experience letters for processing. Since you are on H-4, you will also need to provide your spouse's H-1B approval and 2-3 recent pay stubs.
  3. Employers hire an immigration lawyer and send the basic company information, along with job title, job duties, address of the job site, salary, resume, degree, diploma, transcripts, and job experience letters to prepare the H-1B visa.
  4. Immigration Lawyer will discuss the case with the employer and provide a missing document list.
  5. Once agreed by all parties on terms and conditions, Immigration Lawyer will request the H-1B employer to post the LCA notice of posting at the job site and file a Labor Condition Application.
  6. Our law firm starts to prepare I-129 and other forms as well as petition letters and obtains credential evaluation when needed.
  7. It takes 7 days to obtain a certified Labor Condition Application. The certificate LCA and immigration forms must be signed by the H-1B employer prior to filing the H-1B visa petition to the USCIS. 
  8. H-1B cap subject cases (H-1B lottery) will need to be registered with the USCIS BETWEEN March 1st to March 20th by paying $10 H-1B visa registration fee. If selected in the lottery, the full H-1B petition must be filed within 90 days. 
  9. About 65,000 H-1B visas are available each year. Additional 20,000 H-1B visas are available for people holding US Master's or higher degrees from Public or non-profit colleges or universities. 
  10. H-1B transfer, H-1B extension, H-1B amendment can be filed anytime and do not go through H-1B visa lottery.
  11. H-1B visa Initial Filing Fees: employer with less than 25 employees pay $1,710 and employer with more than 25 employees pay $2,460 to the Immigration. Employers with more than 50 employees and where 50% or higher of the employees hold H-1B or L-1 visas pay additional $4,000. The premium processing fee of $2500 is optional. 
  12. H-1B Receipt Notice shall arrive within 2 to 3 weeks of filing an acceptable H-1B visa petition at the correct USCIS Service Center. 
  13. H-1B Premium processing cases (for additional fee of $2500) and will be processed within 2 weeks if the premium processing is allowed by the USCIS at a particular time. Normal processing time varies and could take around 4 to 6 months. Once the file is opened, the USCIS will either approve the H-1B visa or request for additional evidence on availability of specialty occupation, qualification of the H-1B worker and maintenance of status if the H-1B worker is already in the US in another visa category. 
  14. Upon approval of the H-1B visa by the USCIS, you can start to work if already in the US or apply for a work visa at the Embassy or Consulate. When your petition is approved, your employer or attorney will receive a Notice of Action, Form I-797, which serves as your petition's approval notification. 
  15. To apply for an H-1B visa at the US embassy or consulate, you will complete and submit DS 160 and other relevant forms and pay a set fee. At the H-1B visa interview, the consular officer will verify your petition approval through the Department of State's Petition Information Management Service (PIMS) and verify your background and credentials. At this time, the Consul Officer will also verify bonafideness of the H-1B visa sponsoring employer. Once the Consul Officer issues the H-1B visa, you can come and start to work.
  16. As stated above, you can also file for a change of status from H-4 to H-1B right here in the United States.

Why hire our law firm for your H1B visa?

Keshab has successfully handled over 50,000+ H1B visas. He has extensive experience in dealing with complex H-1B visa matters including successfully responding to difficult Request for Additional Evidence (RFEs).  Has represented 100s of corporations and thousands of individuals. Call us at 2125716002 or send an email to [email protected] 

How do I bring my family members?

Your spouse and children below 21 are eligible for the dependent H-4 Visa.


Can H4 visa holder work?

H-4 Spouses can apply for H-4 EAD so long as your spouse's I-140 has been approved.

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