While working in the United States can be a great opportunity professionally, having to spend time away from your family can make it difficult. The good news is that if you have a work visa, you may be able to bring your spouse and children with you to live in the U.S. This not only allows you to be present and strengthen your relationship with your loved ones but also opens up exciting new experiences and opportunities for them.
Who is eligible for an H-4 visa?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may issue H-4 visas to spouses and children of work visa holders so that they, too, may reside in the United States.
This special visa is available only to legally married spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of H-1B, H-1B1, H-1C, H-2A, H-2B and H-3 visa holders. The H-4 visa may also carry additional requirements:
- The primary visa holder must have a valid and legal status.
- The primary visa holder must be financially capable of supporting the dependent(s).
- The H-4 applicant must not have a criminal record.
Once approved, H-4 visa holders may join the primary visa holder in the U.S. and use their time to study and seek employment under certain circumstances.
What are the requirements for an H-4 visa?
Your dependents must first be eligible for an H-4 visa. After that, they can move forward with acquiring the required paperwork in accordance with the U.S. Embassy’s specifications.
In most cases, they will need a valid passport, police clearance and proof of financial support from the primary visa holder. Dependents will also need to supply evidence of the relationship, such as copies of their birth certificate, and marriage certificate and photos.
Dependents will need to accomplish a DS-160 form and pay the application fees when they are ready to apply. Additionally, they have to set up an appointment for a visa interview at the American embassy or consulate. If all goes well, they should get their H-4 visa with their passport.
The H-4 visa makes it possible for families to remain together. However, the application process leaves no room for error since any mistakes might delay or cause the embassy to deny the dependent’s visa. Family members applying for an H-4 visa should know the visa application rules and procedures inside and out.