H4 Visa

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

1. What is an H-4 dependent visa?

The H-4 dependent visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows the dependent spouse and children of principal H visa holders to enter into the U.S.

2. What privileges do I enjoy on H4 visa?

On H-4 visa, you may:

  1. Enter into the U.S. along with your spouse or join him/her later
  2. Not have to maintain a foreign residence
  3. Travel in and out of the U.S. or remain in the U.S. continuously as long as you are in the st
  4. Study in any U.S. university
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3. How long can I stay in the U.S. on H4 visa?

Your H-4 status depends on the status of the principal H visa status. You lose your status once the H loses status.

4. Can I work on H-4 visa?

No, you may not work on H-4 visa in the U.S. The principal H visa holder has to support you.

5. Can I study on H-4 visa?

Yes, you may study on H-4 visa. You need not apply for F-1 student visa.

6. Can I extend my stay on H-4 visa?

Yes, you may apply for extension of stay on H-4 visa. H4 extension may be granted as long as the principal H visa holder maintains status.

Note: Your status depends on the status of principal H visa status. You lose your H-4 status once the principal H visa holder loses status.

7. Can I Change Status While on H-4 Visa?

Yes, you may apply for change of status to other nonimmigrant visa while on H-4 visa. Please check Work Visas, Study Visas for further details.

8. Are There Any Travel Restrictions on H-4 Visa?

No, there are no travel restrictions on H-4 visa. You may travel as many times as possible while you are on H-4 status.

However, you cannot take up the new activity/endeavor until the change of status is granted.

9. How Do I Apply For H-4 Visa?

Once the principal H applicant receives the Form I-797, Notice of Approval from the USCIS, you apply for H-4 visa by submitting:

  1. A filled-in Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
  2. One recent color photograph two inches square (50mm x 50mm) of each applicant, with the entire face visible. The picture should be taken before a light background and without head covering
  3. A passport, valid for travel to the U.S. for at least six months longer than your intended visit
  4. A copy of the marriage certificate in case you are a dependent spouse
  5. Birth certificate in case you are a dependent child below 21 years of age

10. Where Should I Submit My H4 Visa Application?

If you are:

  1. In lawful status in the U.S., submit the H-4 change of status application to a USCIS Service Center in the U.S.
  2. Outside the U.S., submit the visa application to the American Consulate where you reside

11. What is premium processing Time For H-4 Visa?

If applying at a U.S. consulate the processing time for H-4 visa is the same as the principal H visa applicant. If the Visa application is approved your passport will be returned by courier. If applying for a change of status at a USCIS Service Center the processing time will vary according to the Service Center work load to check the current processing time.