Overview: spouses and unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) are eligible for H-4 status.
Application process: usually, H-4 applications are submitted to IFSO at the same time as an initial or extension H-1B Request. However, dependents may apply for H-4 status at any time on their own, after the principal has acquired H-1B status. The eligible dependent would file a change of status application, Form I-539 with USCIS prior to the end date of the current immigration status. See USCIS instructions and form for further information.
Visa: a dependent may apply for an H-4 visa (entry stamp) at the U.S. Consulate either with his or her own Form I-797 for H-4 status, or the Form I-797 of the H-1B principal. Please see the Travel & Re-Entry section for further information.
As of 5/26/2015, only certain H-4 spouses of H-1B principals may file I-765 applications for Employment Authorization Documents. Eligible spouses are those whose principal H-1B is the beneficiary of an approved I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) or whose principal H-1B spouse has been granted H-1B status past the initial 6-yr period under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act.
H-4 dependents may study in the U.S., full- or part-time. Dependents should weigh the benefits of changing their status to F-1 versus remaining in H-4 status.
International Family Orientation and Tour
Enjoy coffee, conversation and friendship every first and third Wednesday of the month at 9:15 a.m., at McGill Hall 2nd Floor Suite 2126. Children are welcome to attend.