An H-4 visa is non-immigrant visa meant for the close family members of someone on a H visa. It allows the spouse and/or unmarried children (under 21 years old) of a H visa holder to enter the United States and live with the visa holder while the H visa holder is employed in the U.S.
How Do I Qualify for a H-4 Visa?
To qualify for a H-4 visa you have to be the spouse of unmarried minor child (under 21 years old) of a H visa holder. H-4 visas are usually issued overseas by the U.S. consulate of the country you are in. However, if you are already in the U.S. you have to file form I-539 in order to request a change of status.
What Can I Do on a H-4 Visa?
If you are in the U.S. on a H-4 visa you are not authorized to work in the U.S. You also cannot obtain a social security card. However, you can get a driver’s license, go to school, and open a bank account.
Your H-4 visa is tied to the primary H visa holder. So if the primary H visa expires, the H-4 visa will expire as well. Like the H-3 visa, there are no travel restrictions on the H-4 visa. A H-4 visa holder can travel outside the U.S. and reenter at any time, so long as the H-4 visa is still valid.
Do I Need an Attorney to Obtain a H-4 Visa?
If you need help with a visa application, you should contact an immigration attorney. An experienced immigration lawyer will be able to walk you through the process of obtaining an H-4 visa, tell you if you meet all the requirements to qualify for one, and explain the process of applying for any other visas that might be applicable to your situation. They can also help you decide what your next steps should be if you are denied a visa.