The Complete Guide to H-4 Visas
If you’re a family member of an H-1B visa holder who works in the United States, you may be able to come to the U.S. on an H-4 visa. The H-4 visa isn’t available to everyone – only certain family members qualify – but if you don’t qualify for this type of visa, you may qualify for another. Generally, it’s a good idea to talk to a business immigration attorney about your situation so you can take the appropriate steps to join your family member in the U.S.
What is an H-4 Visa?
An H-4 visa is a type of dependent visa. You can only get this type of visa if you’re a certain type of dependent of an H-1, H-2 or H-3 visa holder. It comes with certain rights and responsibilities, and for many people, it’s best to talk to an attorney about using it to come to the U.S.
While the paperwork isn’t incredibly complicated, it’s still immigration paperwork – and you must fill out and file specific forms, as well as go through the eligibility process to use an H-4 visa.
You should apply for an H-4 visa as soon as you can. If possible, do it as soon as your spouse’s or parent’s visa is approved by the government. That way, you can make the whole process easier – and if approved, you won’t have to arrive in the U.S. after your spouse or parent does.
How Long Can You Stay in the U.S. on an H-4 Visa?
The United States government will grant you an H-4 visa with the same time limit on it that your spouse or parent’s visa has. For example, if the H-1, H-2 or H-3 visa holder you’re coming to the U.S. with is granted a period of stay of 3 years, your H-4 visa will also be valid for 3 years. If your spouse or parent extends his or her visa, you can extend yours, as well.