Application Process For Dependents Of H-1B Visa Holders
A benefit of an H-1B is that it may allow certain dependents of the main H-1B visa holder to apply for temporary residency in the U.S. Dependents eligible for an H-4 nonimmigrant status include spouses and children under the age of 21.
Obtaining H-4 Status
If you are the legal spouse or unmarried child of an H-1B visa holder, you may be eligible to apply for the H-4 status. You may apply outside and inside the U.S., as follows and after paying the corresponding fees:
- An applicant should start the process at a U.S. Consulate or embassy to apply for an H-4 visa stamp and provide evidence of their status as legal spouse and children of the H-1B visa holder. In addition, the applicant should also file the spouse’s Form I-797 (approval notice).
- An applicant in the U.S. should use Form I-539 and start the application process at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Process (USCIS) to change their status to H-4.
If you are a dependent spouse of an H-1B visa holder and have doubts about your immigration status or how to start the process, the attorneys at ImmigrationLegal.org in Michigan can counsel you and explain your options. You may want to ensure that you meet all the requirements as specified.
Can A H-4 Status Holder Work In The U.S.?
A dependant spouse may work during their stay in the U.S. However, the H-4 status holder needs an employment authorization document (EAD) to legally work in the U.S. To apply, you need to file Form I-765, considering that you are the main beneficiary of a nonimmigrant employee with an H-1B visa and hold the H-4 status.
To continue with the process, you should submit the following documents:
- Evidence to prove your H-4 status and your relationship with the H-1B program holder, such as your marriage certificate
- Documents to prove the H-1B holder’s status, like a copy of the holder’s passport, the Permanent Labor Certification Application, submission of Form I-797 or receipt number of an approved Form I-140
Call us to learn more about your eligibility for the H-4 status or to obtain an EAD. We have helped individuals learn their options and navigate the complex immigration system for more than 30 combined years of legal experience.