H-1B Work Visa
 

H-1B Dependents and Family Members (H-4 Visa)

Family members of the H-1B worker are admitted to the United States in the H-4 category. Qualifying family members include only the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old. Family members are admitted for the same period for which the principal family member is admitted.

H-4 family members may undertake studies while remaining in the H-4 category. But they cannot engage in any form of employment in the H-4 category, without the permission of Immigration & Naturalization Service permission. They cannot obtain financial aid or the one-year optional practical training (OPT) after completion of the program.

H-4 visa holders may alternatively be admitted in other nonimmigrant categories for which they qualify, such as the F-1 category for children or spouses who will be students or the H-1B category for a spouse whose employer has also obtained approval of an H-1B petition to employ the spouse.

No separate petition has to be filed if the principal H-1B holder changes job as long as there is no break in the validity of H-1B visa. No action is required on the part of H-4 accompanying H-1B visa holder.

Documents Required

Generally, the minimum documents required for H-4 visa abroad or H-4 status for the spouse are the H-1B approval notice of the Beneficiary and the Marriage Certificate. It may be helpful to have all of the following:
  • I-797form (H1B approval notice)
  • Letter of employment from the company you work for with salary stub
  • A letter addressed to the Consulate in favor of your spouse's visa
  • Copy of relevant pages of passport of H1B spouse: Notarized
  • Copy of the Marriage Certificate: Notarized and translated into English
  • Bank statement to prove you are capable of supporting your spouse
  • A couple of recent paychecks/stubs
  • Original passport of H-4 visa applicant
  • A few wedding photographs and a wedding invitation
  • Visa fee
It is better not to provide original documents since they will likely never be returned, through the applicant should have the originals in case the Consular official asks to review them at the visa interview.
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