What to Know About the US Family Visa (H4)
Heading 1: What to Know About the US Family Visa (H4)
The US Family Visa (H4) is a non-immigrant visa that allows the spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of an H1B visa holder to come to the United States to join them. H1B visa is a work visa for immigrants. If you are planning to apply for an H4 visa, it is essential to know its process, requirements, and guidelines.
Heading 2: What is H4 Visa?
H4 visa is a non-immigrant dependent visa category that is granted to the spouse and unmarried minor children of an H1B visa holder. The H4 visa status is granted for a period of the H1B holder’s visa duration. The spouse and children can also apply for employment authorization to work in the US. Dependents on other types of visas (such as L1 and E3) may also be eligible for H4 visa.
Heading 2: How to Apply for H4 Visa?
To apply for an H4 visa, file the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form, pay the application fee, and schedule an interview appointment at a US embassy or consulate. Applicants will need to provide supporting documents that show the relationship to the primary H1B visa holder and proof of financial support, medical clearance, and a valid passport.
Heading 2: H4 Visa Requirements
To qualify for an H4 visa, the applicant must be the spouse or minor child (under 21 years) of an H1B visa holder. They must also provide evidence of a legitimate marriage and financial support during their time in the US. Medical clearance and proof of English language proficiency are also required.
Heading 2: H4 Visa Processing Time
The processing time for an H4 visa application varies by location. The average processing time can take around 4-6 weeks, but it can take longer based on the volume of applications being processed at the US embassy or consulate.
Heading 2: H4 Visa Validity
The H4 visa is valid for the same period as the H1B visa holder’s visa. The visa holder must maintain their status and adhere to visa requirements or risk being out of status, which may result in deportation.
Heading 2: H4 Visa Limitations
H4 visa holders are not authorized to work in the US unless they receive employment authorization. The visa holder can attend school or university without any additional authorization.
Heading 2: FAQs
Q: Can H4 visa holders apply for a Green Card?
A: Yes, they can apply for a Green Card if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Q: How long does it take to get an H4 visa?
A: The processing time can take around 4-6 weeks, but it can take longer based on the volume of applications being processed at the US embassy or consulate.
Q: Can H4 visa holders work in the US?
A: H4 visa holders are not authorized to work in the US unless they receive employment authorization.
Q: Do H4 visa holders need a Social Security Number (SSN)?
A: Yes, H4 visa holders can apply for an SSN, but they must have a valid work permit first.
Q: Can H4 visa holders travel outside the US?
A: Yes, they can travel outside the US and come back, but they must have a valid visa stamp in their passport and provide their H1B holder’s employment details when re-entering the United States.
In conclusion, the H4 visa is a beneficial option for the dependent family members of H1B visa holders to join them in the US. With these guidelines and FAQs, the visa application process can be more accessible and more predictable. However, all the requirements must be fulfilled to obtain the H4 visa successfully.