H4 – a guide to dependent visa in USA

  • February 22, 2019
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US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is an authorized body for issuing H-4 Visa to immediate family members including spouse and children under 21 years of age. The members must strictly be H1-B visa holders to be entitled for getting H-4 visa.

The H-4 visa allows for the family members to lawfully come and settle in the US. Priority for issuing the visa has been given to entire H visa holders including H-1A, H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 by the USCIS out of which H1-B visa is given top priority. Temporary residence in the US is granted to such members during the entire time period when H-1 visa holding family member is working in the US.

The person already residing in the US and willing to obtain H-4 status, he/she can file the form I-539 to change the citizenship status and make it permanently to H-4 visa status without any legal issues. H-4 visa rules have been made updated consistently since last few years with respect to individual authorizations.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on February 24th, 2015 with the kind consent of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced to expand the eligibility criteria for employment based authorizations. The announcement favored to provide the employment authorizations to few of the H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants desirous to avail LPR (Lawful Permanent Resident) status.

DHS later made needful amendments to the protocol and supported H-4 dependent spouses for proudly receiving social security numbers as well.

Rules concerning the H4 visa document requirements:





Eligibility and the authorization based information concerning H4 visa has already been mentioned in the above paragraphs.

In addition to the standard required documents for any of the US non-immigrant visa, the applicant must be capable enough in providing the following list of documents for H4 visa:

Completed set of non-immigration H4 Visa application format DS-160 duly stamped at the Visa Application Center. Separate format is essential to be opted for every single applicant to move ahead with the procedures.

Fee receipt of the US Visa of the concerned applicant.

US visa interview appointment letter received via e-mail during the time of booking a US visa appointment.

There must be valid passport availability for every single applicant.

One photograph of the size (2”/2”) taken with a clear and light background without head coverage. Face of the applicant must be clear inside the photograph.

Photographs being one of the most valuable and recognizable asset is sincerely investigated during the procedures. Accordingly, entire set of mentioned rules and regulations must be studied for being away from any further litigation.

In case the applicant is minor with less than 14 years of age, the original birth certificate issued by the authorized authority must be presented.

Xerox copies of the parent’s/spouse’s I-129 form, I-797 form, and the Labor Certification Application (LCA) along with inclusion of H type visa as well.

Xerox of the spouse’s or parent’s passport with authorized identification procedures.

Xerox certificates of the parent’s or spouse’s letter of employment in US along with the copies of previous work experience.

Copies of the recent pay slips and tax filing information copies if the parents/ spouse is currently working in the US.

Original marriage certificate along with entire wedding photo album.

Xerox or original marriage cards of the involved parties for verification procedures.

Marriage DVDs along with the receipt of payments for marriage based expenses.

List of wedding guests.

Xerox copies of entire principal H1B’s passport with all the pages.

In case the marriage got finalized at the wedding registrar’s office, there must be the availability of following essential documentations for attaining the H4-Visa:





Signed copy of the marriage registrar’s affidavit.

The applicant’s as well as his spouse’s photograph signing the marriage certificate.

Photographs of the ceremony conducting individuals as well as the eye witness.

Though the above set of points are the necessary documentations required to be provided while applying for H-4 visa, the applicant may either go for more. It is better to present added documentation rather than going for less.

Soon after applying successfully with all the relevant documentations along with the application, the remaining procedures automatically get completed with time.

Rules to be followed for H-4 Visa application process:

The following sets of rules are mandatory to be followed before applying to get H-4 visa:

– Applying online successfully: Form DS-160 is needed to be filled online and further list of steps must be handled carefully. Soon after starting the form filling procedure, DS-160 barcode will be received by the applicant. The barcode confirmation page is needed to be kept carefully and a printout must accordingly be taken. This page of confirmation is needed to get presented during the time of interview process.

– Successful payment of the applicable H4 visa fees: The fee of the H4 visa is similar to those of the other H type visa categories. The current application fee for processing the H4 visa is $190 which must be paid accordingly. The application fee receipt is instructed to get secured safely as the same would be needed while processing up the applications.

– Successful Scheduling up of a visa interview appointment: Soon after completing the filing procedure of the DS-160 form, it is instructed to immediately schedule an interview appointment with the US embassy from which the applicant is applying to get H-4 visa. It is suggested to quickly proceed for scheduling the interview with the embassy. As soon as the interview gets scheduled, faster will be the processing time of the whole H-4 visa application. After successful booking an interview with the embassy, a letter of confirmation will get received. It must be retained successfully for all the future requirements.

– Successful submission of the H-4 visa documents: The documents associated with the format must successfully be submitted for initiating the final procedure to get the H-4 visa.

– Attending up the visa interview process: Visa interview is required to get attended after successfully submitting the documents and applying online. The interview panel will try to get satisfied with your answers that the relationship with the H type visa holder is legal/ genuine or not. The questions concerning the intent for going to the United States will also get raised by the interview experts to understand and analyze the cause.

The applicant must be ready for frequently answering up the questions raised by the interview panel. Better the clarity and genuine the cause, better will be the possibility to get passed in the interview and achieving the H-4 visa to get temporary resident facility in the US. The visa granting will depend solely upon the interview questions and the bold and confident response towards the raised questions.

– Getting the visa via US Embassy portal: This is the last step towards getting the visa after going through such a huge series of steps. After completing all the procedures, the visa status can instantly be checked by visiting the US Embassy’s website and entering the application number. The embassy will automatically notify after successful processing up of the visa. In case the visa gets granted to the applicant, they will have to proceed for entire visa stamping procedures. This will obviously be the final step before moving ahead to the United States and achieving temporary resident facilities.

The protocols keep on changing concerning the allotment of H-4 visa to the applicants. The following sets of points explain the most important facts to note concerning the H-4 visa rules and must accordingly be understood carefully:

– There is not any provision for the H-4 visa holders to permanently work in the US. During attending the interview, the concerned officer will definitely ask up the spouse that either he/she will be going to take an employment in the US or not.

– The visa permission of the spouse will immediately get denied if the concerned officer will feel the interest of the concerned towards getting an employment in the United States.

– The H-4 visa holders will be allowed for a driving license of the country and will be permitted to open and operate the bank account as per the necessities.

– The H-4 visa holders are allowed to get admitted inside any university as per the capability. However, taking up any part time jobs being regular with the university or other educational institutions is not allowed at all. F1 visa in case is a better option for the applicants.

– F-4 visa is enough for the children for studying in the US schools. F1 visa is not required in such cases.

To cap it all, all the above mentioned set of points are paragraphs reflects the rules, regulations and entire protocols concerning H4-visa rules. Entire set of detailed explanations concerned with the procedure must be understood and implemented to successfully to get the visa without any official hindrances. Go ahead and apply to successfully fulfill the dream of being a US resident temporarily.