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Resources Available for H-1B Visa Family Members

By Keshab Raj Seadie | July 22, 2016

calendar with the text visa application When you apply for permission to work United States through special visa, you may wonder what resources are available for your family members. H-1B family members can reside in the U.S. for certain period of time if they apply for an H-4 Visa. Each individual family member must have his or her own visa and ensure it is up to date. An unmarried child under the age of 21 can apply for this visa and reside in the United States.

H-1B Visa family members can apply for an H-4 Visa at the U.S. consulate of the country where they reside. You will need to have the proper paperwork before your application is approved. Provide a marriage license, birth certificates, and passports that are valid for at least the next six months. You also need a copy of the approved H-1B visa in addition to a passport-sized photo. If you’re filing for this visa from within the US, you need to fill out a I-539 with USCIS. If all of your paperwork is up to date and presented an organized manner, the process need not take too long, although there can be delays. It is recommended that you begin the application process far in advance of the time you will need it.

H-1B Visa family members who were given permission to reside in United States with an H-4 Visa are allowed to study at any American university; however, they are not allowed to accept paid work and can face serious penalties if they work illegally. Many people start with an H-4 visa as a stepping stone to get a work permit for the United States, particularly if they’ve earned a degree during their residence in the country. The process for applying to work legally is different in United States than it is outside the country, so familiarize yourself with the regulations before embarking on the application process.

To learn more, contact our team at the Law Office of Keshab Raj Seadie, PC.