What exactly is an H4 Visa?
President Obama made a significant declaration regarding H4 visa employment. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeks to strengthen the nation’s economic stability by enabling H1 visa holders’ dependents and H4 spouses to work and H1 visa holders to prolong their stay. The Trump administration also encouraged qualified foreign workers to work in the United States alongside H1 visa holders.
- The H4 visa is a dependant visa for non-immigrants.
- The H4 visa is granted to the H1 visa holder’s spouse and children under the age of 21.
- With this visa status, H4 visa holders can study, reside, and work in the United States.
- The H4 visa status allows you to obtain a driver’s licence.
- With the H4 visa status, you can open bank accounts.
- You are eligible for a social security number.
- You can obtain a tax identification number.
The following are the benefits of having an H4 visa EAD:
Having an H4 visa EAD can help you.
- The H4 EAD holder has the option of working full-time or part-time.
- The H4 Visa holder is free to work for any employer.
- The H4 EAD allows you to work in any area and in any position.
- With the H4 EAD, you may establish your own business.
- The H4 EAD does not need you to have a work offer.
- The H4 dependent visa has no cap or restriction.
- There is no set date for submitting an application for an H4 dependent spouse visa.
How to Obtain an H4 Visa
Follow these easy procedures to obtain an H4 visa:
For people residing outside the United States:
- Fill out the DS-160 online form, print the barcode, and bring it with you to the interview. If you are bringing your fiancée, you must file K1/2 along with DS-156, DS-157, DS-158, and DS-3032.
- You can choose a US consulate from the list of US Consulates in India based on your state of residence.
- Some US embassies require digital photo submission. A photograph will be taken at the visa application centre if a digital photo upload is not necessary (VAC)
- Pay the $190 cost and save the receipt. In any Axis Bank or Citi Bank branch in India, you may make a NEFT payment, an IMPS payment, or an over-the-counter cash payment.
- You must reveal the passport information.
- The proper address in the United States at which you will dwell
- Make an appointment with the American embassy as soon as feasible. The USS embassy will send you a letter of confirmation for the interview. You must make an appointment for biometrics as well as the visa interview.
- A photocopy of the principal H visa holder is required.
- To get the H4 visa status, complete the I-539 form and submit it to the USCIS.
- After receiving a confirmation email, provide Biometrics at your local application support centre.
- Following the completion of the Biometrics, you will receive an H4 approval notification.
- You will be given an I-94 card that confirms the validity of your H4 visa.
What papers do I need to apply for an H4 visa?
The following documents must be submitted to the immigration officer by the H4 visa applicant:
- A letter of appointment for a visa interview, as well as a copy of Form G-1145 (online notification of the application acceptance)
- For the interview, you must present the completed form DS-160 with a barcode.
- A passport holder, an H4 visa application, and an H1 visa holder
- two passport-sized photos
- Details of the fee paid receipt
- Photocopy of the H1B visa holder’s form I-797
- Marriage certificates for spouses and birth certificates for children
- Salary slips from the present employer for the H1 visa holder
- I-94 and I-797 forms are required to confirm H4 status.
- Along with the visa provided by the foreign consulate, you must provide a birth certificate or government-approved identity verification.
What is the difference between an H1 and an H4 visa?
The H1 visa permits foreign employees to work in speciality jobs in the United States for a limited time. Section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act grants the H1 visa. Graduate-level employees with technical and professional competence in computer science, finance, architecture, accounting, mathematics, medicine, and other fields. H1 visa holders can work in the same field as their degree. The employer (from the United States) applies for a six-year visa. The number of H1 B visas available is limited to 85,000. The following conditions must be completed in order to be eligible for an H1B visa.
- The H1B visa applicant must have a graduate or higher degree.
- Qualifications required in accordance with industry expectations
- The task can only be done by those with specific credentials.
- To execute the responsibilities, the employer demands a bachelor’s degree or above.
The H1B visa is originally given for three years and can be extended for a total of six years. The H1B visa has dual use. The visa holders can work on a non-immigrant visa and apply for a green card while working. They are permitted to bring their dependents under H4 visa status.
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The H4 Visa:
The H4 Visa is issues to the spouse and children (under 21) who are dependents of H1 B holders by the USCIS. It is granted to dependant family members who want to travel with H1B holders. The H4 visa holder can stay with their spouse as long as the H1B visa holder’s permission is valid. They can establish a bank account, obtain a legal driver’s licence, study in the United States, and even work in the United States if they have an employment authorization paperwork (EAD).
If you hold an EAD, you do not require a Labor Condition Application (LCA) or a petition – form I-129. The H4 holder can work in any industry and in any number of positions.
Who Qualifies for an H4 Visa?
The H4 visa is granted to the H visa holder’s immediate family. Spouses and children are included in the phrase “immediate family.” Children must be under the age of 21. The H- Visa category covers the H1B visa, the HIB1 visa, the H2A visa, the H2B visa, and the H3 visa.
H4 visa holders are eligible for the following benefits:
The USCIS allows H4 visa holders to work using an EAD, which was enacted in 2014-15. Those who want to apply for a work visa as a dependant of an H1B holder must be eligible for an EAD. The spouse of the H4 visa applicant must have valid H1B visa status at the time of H4 application.
To be eligible for an H4 work permit, you must meet the following requirements.
The H4 visa on EAD is granted to persons who fit into one of two categories:
- The H1B visa spouse must get the I-140 Petition for the foreign worker approved. If the I-140 petition is denied, the h4 visa holder will be unable to work. The I-140 category (EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3) has no bearing on H4 visa acceptance. The period spent in the United States by the dependant of an H1B visa holder is unimportant as long as the 1-140 is authorised. As soon as the I-140 is authorised, the H4-EAD can be applied for. There is no downtime.
- Under the AC-21 regulation, the H1B visa holder must renew I-140 in one-year increments. If the permanent labour certification or I-140 application is not refused or denied, the H4 EAD can be employed.
If the H1B holder arrived to the US as a student and stayed for more than six years, the dependant cannot apply for the H4 EAD. H1B visa holders must have an approved I-140.
How long is the validity of an H4 visa?
- The H4 visa has a three-year validity period. The eligibility period lasts until the primary H1 holder obtains an authorised I-129. In the unfortunate event that the H1B holder is unable to find work, a grace period of 60 days will be granted.
- According to the USCIS, the H4 visa holder can petition for an extension within 180 days of the expiration of the EAD.
- If your EAD is lost, stolen, or destroyed, you can replace it by filing a new I-765 along with the required cost.
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Can those with H4 visas work?
- After 2015, H4 visa holders will be able to work under the EAD-employment authorization scheme. H4 visa holders can work provided they file for an I-765, often known as an employment authorisation card (EAD).
- The UCSIS advocated removing employment for H4 visa holders, but the proposal is currently being reviewed and no decision has been made. The EAD allows H4 visa holders to work in any industry in the United States, and they do not need to have particular skills like H1 visa holders.
- If the H1B holders have an accepted Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, the H3 visa holders can work. In this situation, the H4B dependant can apply for an EAD if the H1B holder has filed for a green card.
- Sections 106(a) and 106(b) offer them H1B classification (b). In this scenario, the H1B spouse has sought for permanent residency and has a six-year extension.
- You can have unlimited work permission under H4 visa status, which is not confined to a specific company. You can even start your own business.
Options exist for H4 visa holders.
- You can work full-time and receive an H1B visa sponsored by your company.
- You can study while on the H4B visa.
- You can convert your visa status from H4 to F1 and study.
- Under H4 visa status, you can volunteer to help your field of employment.
What is the cost of an H4 visa?
The visa charge for the H4 visa is $190, which is almost 11, 000 INR. This fee must be paid before the visa interview can be scheduled. Payments may be done online with debit cards via NEFT or IMPS transactions, or in cash at Citi Bank or Axis Bank counters. The visa cost is also payable at DRUK bank. The paid Visa cost is non-refundable.
In addition to the visa cost, the H4 visa applicant must submit Form I-765 for employment permission and pay a $410 fee to the embassy. A biometric appointment will set you back $85. As a result, the total cost is $495.
Is the H 4 visa rejected?
There is a chance that the H4 visa may be denied. Some typical explanations include:
- Refusal under 212(a)(4): This section indicates that the visa officer is not convinced of the sponsor’s financial situation. The sponsor may be unable to sustain the dependents. The immigration officer suspects the H4 visa holder will become a liability to the US government.
- If the primary sponsor’s income is less than the state poverty level, the H4 visa may be denied.
- Refusal under 214(b): The H4 visa might be refused under 214(b), which questions the applicant’s desire to settle in the United States and not return to his or her native country.
- 221(g): A denial under 221(g) may occur if the pay or wage is less than the prevailing wage norms in the region where the H4 visa applicant plans to work. If the Department of Labor’s requirements for labour condition clearance are not satisfied, the H4 visa will most likely be denied.
How to Change Your Visa Status From H1B to H4 Visa Status
H1B workers may experience the tough position of losing their jobs, having their working term expire, or having completed the maximum time of six years. In this situation, you can convert your visa status from H1B to H4. You should apply as soon as possible because changing your visa status might take up to 2-3 months. For the visa status changes, the following documents are required:
- Passport photocopies for H1B visa holders and their spouses
- Duly filled Form I-159, which will set you back $455.
- Form I-94, an arrival and departure form, must be submitted.
- This form will cost you $6 to submit.
- HIB visa copy pay stubs
- Notice of H1B visa approval
- Documentation proving your spouse’s work or H1B status
- Photocopy of marriage certificate
If your H4 visa is accepted, you must stopped working under your H1 visa. however, This does not, imply that your H1 visa has expired. You should apply for an H4 EAD, which will allow you to work in the United States.
To authorise the visa status change, the USCIS may want further information from you. If they want further information, they may submit an RFE — Request for Evidence. This may cause the visa status change to be delayed even more.
If you are applying for the H4 visa for the first time, you should consult an immigration attorney to ensure that the procedure goes smoothly and in accordance with immigration law.