H4 Visa – US visa

The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa for temporary workers employed in specialty occupations that require highly specialized knowledge. It is for people who want to come to the U.S. for a limited period of time to work in their specialized field. The H4 visa is the corresponding visa obtained by the family members of H1B visa holders. So, for people coming to the U.S. on an H1B visa, their family members will also need to obtain an H4 visa.

What is an H4 Visa?

An H4 visa is issued to dependents of an H1B visa holder. It is an employment-based non-immigrant visa, allowing family members to accompany the H1B visa-holder to the United States. Dependents who can apply for H4 visa includes spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21.

Eligibility Criteria for H4 Visa

The eligibility criteria for an H4 visa include:

  • The dependents must be the spouse or unmarried child of an H1B visa holder.
  • The H1B visa-holder must have a valid passport.
  • The dependents must have valid passports.
  • The dependents must submit the required documents for the H4 visa.

Benefits of H4 Visa

There are several advantages of an H4 visa. Firstly, it allows the family of an H1B visa holder to come to the United States and stay for the same period as the primary H1B visa holder. Secondly, an H4 visa holder has the option to open a US bank account, and they can also enroll in educational courses. Moreover, H4 visa holders can also apply for work permits in the United States. Finally, they can also work in the US if they have a valid US work permit.

How to Apply for an H4 Visa?

The H4 visa application process is similar to that of the H1B visa. To apply for an H4 visa, the applicant must:

  • Complete and submit the Form DS-160 online application.
  • Gather all supporting documents required for the H4 visa.
  • Pay the visa application fee.
  • Schedule an appointment and attend a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Does the H4 visa Holder Need an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)?

Yes, if the H4 visa holder is looking to work or study in the United States, they will need to apply and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Without this document, it is not possible to work or study in the United States.

Is an H4 visa Holder Eligible for Social Security Number (SSN)?

Yes, an H4 visa holder is eligible to get a social security number (SSN). However, it is important to note that an SSN can only be used for work related activities and it cannot be used for any other purposes.

What are the Limitations of an H4 Visa?

The main limitation of an H4 visa is that it does not allow the visa holder to obtain employment in the United States. The visa holder cannot work in an American company or organization until they obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The visa also does not allow the visa holder to stay in the United States beyond the validity of the primary H1B visa holder.

Can an H4 Visa Holder Travel Outside the US and Re-enter?

Yes, an H4 visa holder can travel outside the United States and re-enter. However, they will need to be sure that their passport and H4 visa is still valid and meet all the requirements to re-enter.

Can an H4 Visa Holder Apply for Green Card?

Yes, an H4 visa holder can apply for green card. To apply for a green card, they must be eligible and pass all of the requirements.

FAQs

  • Can an H4 visa holder study in the US? Yes, an H4 visa holder can study in the US. However, they will need to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if they want to work during or after their studies.
  • Can an H4 Visa holder open a bank account in the US? Yes, an H4 visa holder can open a bank account in the US.
  • Does an H4 visa holder need to file US taxes? Yes, an H4 visa holder is required to file US taxes if they have income that is taxable in the US.

Conclusion

The H4 visa is the corresponding visa obtained by the family members of H1B visa holders. The visa allows family members to accompany the H1B visa-holder to the US for the same period of their visa. The H4 visa holder has the option to open a bank account, enroll in educational courses and even apply for work permits. However, the visa does not allow them to obtain employment until they obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). It is important to be aware of the restrictions and limitations of an H4 visa before applying.

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