H-4 Visa: Immediate Family Members of H Visa-Holders

What is an H4 Visa?

An H4 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the U.S. government to a dependent family member of a H-1B visa holder. This type of visa allows the dependent to stay in the U.S. while the H-1B visa holder works. The H4 visa holder is not authorized to take on any employment in the U.S., but may study or attend school. H4 visa holders are allowed to travel freely in and out of the United States.

Who Qualifies for H4 Visa?

In order to qualify for an H4 visa, the applicant must be the spouse or unmarried minor child of a foreign national who has been granted an H1B visa. The foreign national must be in the United States legally and have a valid employment authorization document. Additionally, the applicant must have proof of a valid marriage or birth certificate, evidence of financial support, and a valid passport.

How to Apply for H4 Visa?

1. Prepare the needed documents. The U.S. government typically requires certain documents from applicants for H4 visas, including a valid passport, a Form I-94, evidence of the applicant’s relationship to the H-1B visa holder, and evidence of the petitioner’s financial ability to support the applicant.

2. Complete a DS-160 form. This form is the standard visa application form used by the U.S. government for all non-immigrant visa categories, including H4 visas. Applicants must answer all questions accurately and completely to ensure their applications are processed without delay or issues.

3. Obtain a visa interview appointment. Depending on where you are applying from, you may need to obtain an appointment with the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy to complete your visa interview.

4. Attend your visa interview and submit your application materials. When attending your visa interview, be sure to bring all of your application materials, including the DS-160 confirmation page, all required documents, and a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining. Be sure to answer all questions truthfully, as any false information could result in a denial of your application.

5. Wait for processing and results of your application. Depending on the current processing times at the consulate/embassy where you applied, it may take several weeks for them to review and approve or deny your application for an H4 visa.

What is the H4 Visa Interview Process?

The H4 visa interview process is necessary for applicants who are seeking an H4 visa (the dependent visa for the spouse or children of an H1B visa holder). The purpose of the interview is for the applicant to demonstrate to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that they meet the criteria for a valid H4 visa.

The first step in the H4 visa interview process is to submit all necessary documentation to USCIS along with the application form. This includes documents such as evidence of the relationship between the applicant and their H1B holder, financial documents and other supporting materials.

Once the application has been submitted, USCIS will review all documents and decide whether or not to grant an interview appointment. If an appointment is granted, then the applicant will be notified by mail or email. The applicant should then prepare for their appointment, which typically takes place at a USCIS local office.

At the interview, applicants must arrive on time and bring all documents required for the interview. These include proof of identity, proof of relationship with their H1B holder and other supporting documents as required by USCIS. The interviewer will ask questions about the applicant’s background, their relationship to the H1B holder and other important details.

After the interview is complete, USCIS may take a few weeks to make a decision on whether or not to grant an H4 visa. If approved, then a visa packet will be provided containing information on how to proceed with the visa application and how to enter the United States legally.

The H4 visa interview process can seem daunting, but with adequate preparation and proper documentation, it can be completed successfully.

What are the Required Documents for H4 Visa?

The required documents for an H4 visa are as follows:

1. A valid passport for the applicant.

2. The H4 visa application form which is available from the US consulate or embassy.

3. A copy of the principal visa holder’s I-797 form which is the notice of action.

4. Evidence of the relationship between the applicant and the principal holder of the H1B visa. This may include copies of marriage certificates, birth certificates and other legal documentation.

5. Evidence of financial support from the principal visa holder or a third party such as proof of income, a letter from an employer, or bank statements showing sufficient funds to support the applicant.

6. Any additional documents requested by the visa officer such as proof of travel plans, copies of diplomas or degrees, evidence of professional qualifications, etc.

What is the H4 Visa Fee?

The H4 visa fee is currently $190. This fee is paid to the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and must be paid in order to submit an H4 nonimmigrant visa application. The fee is non-refundable, regardless of the outcome of the visa application.

What is the H4 Visa Processing Time?

The processing time for an H4 visa varies depending on several factors, including the country from which you are applying and the US Embassy or Consulate handling your case. Generally, processing times can range from 3-4 months to 15-18 months. In some cases, it may take longer. You can discuss your individual case with an experienced immigration attorney who can provide you with a more accurate timeline.

H4 Visa Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is an H4 visa?

A: An H4 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows certain immediate family members of H-1B visa holders to enter and reside in the United States. Immediate family members are spouses, children under 21 years of age, and parents of the H-1B visa holder. The H-4 visa holder may not engage in employment while in the United States, but they can attend school, obtain a driver’s license, open a bank account, and stay in the country as long as the H-1B visa holder remains in valid status.

Q: Who is eligible for an H4 visa?

A: Eligible family members of an H-1B visa holder include spouses, children under 21 years of age, and parents. The family member must be able to demonstrate their relationship to the H-1B visa holder in order to qualify for an H4 visa.

Q: How long is an H4 visa valid for?

A: An H4 visa is typically valid for the same amount of time as the H-1B visa. If the H-1B visa is valid for 3 years, then the H4 visa will also be valid for 3 years. The validity period of both visas can be extended if necessary.

Q: Can an H4 visa holder work in the United States?

A: An H4 visa holder cannot engage in employment while in the United States. However, they may be eligible to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) that allows them to work freely with certain restrictions. The application process and restrictions vary depending on the type of EAD being applied for.