What is an H-4 Visa?
An H-4 visa is a type of visa for H-1B visa holders’ spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age.
H-4 visa holders are allowed to study in the United States, but cannot work in the US, with some exceptions. If you are in H-4 status and attending college in the US, but will soon turn 21, you will need to apply for an F-1 visa to stay in school. H-4 visa holders are also permitted to open bank accounts and acquire a driver's license.
H-4 visa holders are also permitted to open bank accounts and acquire a driver’s license.
Employment Eligibility for Holders of H-4 Visas
If you are an H-4 visa holder and your spouse either has an approved I-140 or if your spouse is permitted to renew H-1B status in three-year increments beyond the six-year limit, you may file an application for permission to work in the US. Only a spouse can apply for work permission, not children in H-4 status, even if they are old enough to work.
H-4 Visa Holders Who Can Apply For Work Eligibility
H-4 visa holders can apply for permission to work in the United States under the following conditions.
- Must be in H-4 status and be married to an H-1B worker, and
- H-1B husband or wife must fit into one of the following groups:
- The H-1B worker has an approved I-140, but must wait to apply for a green card until an immigrant visa (green card) becomes available based on the Visa Bulletin (H-1B can file application for extension of status in three-year increments until he or she can apply for a green card), or
- H-1B spouse can file an application for extension of status in one-year increments because either a Labor Certification or an I-140 was filed for him or her before the end of the 5th year in H-1B status.
A husband or wife of an H-1B worker who meets the above requirements may file an Application for Employment Authorization on Form I-765 beginning May 26, 2015, with supporting evidence.
What Supporting Evidence is Required?
- Marriage certificate showing marriage to current H-1B husband or wife
- Evidence that shows H-1B husband or wife meets the above requirements
- Entry Documents from Most Recent Entry to US (I-94, either card (front and back) or printout)
- Copy of most recent Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
- If H-4 has never received an EAD, submit copy of government-issued identity document showing picture, name, and date of birth
Talk With An Experienced Immigration Lawyer First
For many years, Janet Moon has helped families navigate the requirements for H-4 visas. While other immigration attorneys’ free initial consultations lack the in-depth personal attention that’s necessary to provide meaningful guidance, Ms. Moon's initial consultation includes personal attention to your case.
During the initial consultation, she will review all relevant documents and talk with you about your legal options. An initial consultation will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to address your H-4 visa related concerns.
To take the first step in scheduling a consultation, contact today.
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Immigration requirements change frequently, and complying with the immigration process can be confusing. Mistakes could hinder your professional goals for years.