An H4 Visa is a Visa given to H1B visa owners dependents (spouses or children under the age of 21). H1B visa holders’ partners are not permitted to operate on an H4 Visa only. However, there is an opportunity to acquire an EAD that enables you to operate on an H4 visa.
Job visas come with several benefits not just for the individual who earns them but also for his relatives. Beneficiaries may get family members into the U.S. by obtaining some job permits, some with more incentives than others. Check out how the H-4 visa operates, how to qualify for one, and what incentives it provides.
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What is H-4 Visa?
The H-4 visa is for H-visa holders’ partners and dependents who wish to follow the concept H-4 visa holder into the U.S. New H visas cover:
- H-1B: For Bachelor’s degree specialty staff
- H-2A: For temporary agricultural laborer’s
- H-2B: For temporary nonagricultural laborer’s
- H-3: For those coming to the US for training
Your H-4 status is linked to that of the H-visa holder and If anything occurs that allows the principal holder to lose his or her rank, your rank will, therefore, be affected. Conversely, once the principal holder changes its rank, the position should be expanded as well.
You’ll be allowed to stay and work in the US under H-4 status. People that are H-1B holders’ partners may still operate, if they get legitimate Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). Also, as of 2015, holders of H-4 visas can apply for permissible permanent residence (green cards).
Yet not all H4 visa holders apply for H4 EAD. What are you doing then? How can H4 Visa holders be employed and have a career? Many writers of this blog are on H4 Visa and are searching for various job and research opportunities accessible for them. Don’t feel lonely.
The Difference Between H1B and H4 Visa
H1B visas are intended for graduates and those who want to work in the United States The visa helps them to become workers in the same area as their degree.
The H4 visa, however, is one that helps you to send your relatives to the States. Simply stated, if you possess an H1B visa and have a wife/husband and children under the age of 21, you can send them to the U.S. with an H4 visa. They are going to be in the group of reliant. Both the partner and children will be asked different questions during the application process, which would inform the U.S. officials that you are applying for the H4 visa in the first location.
People in the United States under H4 are permitted to remain in the country for the full validity span of the husband/wife’s H1B visa. You have the freedom to open a savings account during your visit, go to school, and even acquire a driver’s license. You may still focus on this, although this depends on how you can receive an H4 EAD, or a Job Authorization Certificate, respectively.
So, the H1B visa holder is the key claimant in this case, and the H4 visa holders can rely on them, as well as the visa time for the partner.
Back in 2015 the H4 EAD regulation was introduced as the United States needed to attract qualified international employees. It also tried to reduce the amount of U.S. market interruptions, because it induced visitors to no longer wish to live in the States. Hence, the H4 EAD was created with the idea of offering H1B visa holders, as well as their friends, some peace of mind. It is beneficial as such individuals seek to move to the level of a legal permanent resident. Not to mention that the law will reduce the economic pressures these families used to face.
When can I apply for the H-4 Visa?
You ought to learn the best time to apply for the H4 visa to do so – or you will not be eligible to travel with your spouse to the USA. This being said, you will apply for an immigrant visa under the same petition until your wife or spouse applies for an immigrant visa and gets the petition accepted. Children under 21 who are not yet married will submit on the petition as well.
After you have completed what you can, you’ll need to test your visa petition status. This will be achieved on the website of USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services).
Just before your visa has been approved, you can stay in the United States for as long as your spouse has a legally valid H-1B visa. When in the U.S., for example, you can even petition for a change of status and move to an H-1B, or petition for a Green Card alone.
It’s better to apply as early as you can for the H4 visa, ideally as early as your spouse’s H1B Visa petition is accepted. The explanation for this is the fact that processing times differ, typically according to region. But at the end of the day, you’ll be dependent on the main visa holder, the H1B visa spouse, respectively. And, it’s anticipated that the issuance of your passport would take as long as it takes to process your passport. In the meantime, if you apply separately, it’ll be less clear how long the H4 visa would take to be accepted. Everything depends on the USA. Embassy, and how much work is required of them.
Working on an H4 Visa
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted an H4 visa to immediate family members, which requires them to stay freely alongside an H1B visa holder in the U.S. only.
USCIS confirmed on 24 February 2015 that this policy would change starts on 26 May 2015. The Homeland Security Department (DHS) will begin issuing Work Authorization Documents (EAD) to qualifying H4 Visa holders. Holders of such an H4 visa EAD will either operate lawfully or launch a company in the U.S. as long as the H1B visa remains available for their partner.
H-4 Visa Application Process
With the H-4 visa, you may either meet or join a partner or parent who operates in the U.S. under H-1B status.
If you’re outside the U.S. and not in any other non-immigrant visa category, you’ll need to visit a U.S. consulate or embassy to obtain your H-4 visa. Once your husband or wife or parent has an approved H-1B visa, you can apply for non-immigrant visas online using the DS-160 application.
Once you have completed the application and paid the filing fee, please be sure to print out the proof of payment and receipt. You may then set an interview with your home country’s U.S. consulate. There, you will be called up for a one-on-one consultation with a consular official to assess the case ‘s validity. You may be questioned about your H-4 visa, your spouse or relative, their work, or activities in the U.S.
If your application is accepted and your interview goes well, your passport will be held by the consulate and shipped to you with the H-4 visa stamp inside. In the U.S. you will then follow or meet the parent or partner with H-1B.
What is H-4 Processing Time?
The screening period for the H-4 depends on the U.S. consulate or embassy’s caseload you’ll be heading to for the interview. You might need to arrange an interview for a few weeks in advance. If you are approved, it will also take the embassy a few weeks to send your passport inside with your visa. Talk with your immigration lawyer to get a better idea of what your processing time for H-4 will be.
Unfortunately, although the premium payment is often useful to speed up the H-1B paperwork, it cannot be used to speed up the processing period for H-4 visas.
How to Get an H-4 Work Permit?
Several conditions have to be fulfilled before you can get an H-4 job authorization or EAD. First of all, as stated earlier, you must be an H-1B holder’s spouse — no other H visa has that benefit, and dependents are not qualified. You will see our detailed guide on this famous visa to see how your partner will apply for and get an H-1B.
Second, the H-1B holder partner must have completed and submitted an I-140 petition via green card to secure permanent residency in the U.S. The USCIS may have already accepted this proposal, too. Nevertheless, keep in mind that it sometimes takes several years to get a green card due to priority dates from I-140 permission, so as long as the I-140 is accepted, you are eligible for an EAD.
If you revoke your spouse’s I-140 before you get your EAD, then you will no longer qualify for it. If this happens after you have obtained your work permit, though, it will remain valid until the expiry date. If you don’t have an H-1B partner or an eligible I-140 then you won’t be able to upgrade your EAD at that point.
Also, if your spouse is accepted with the USCIS for multiple I-140s, having one revoked won’t invalidate the EAD. The regulations state only that your spouse must have I-140 approved. Optionally, you can also apply if your partner has been accepted to H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness Act of 2000 (AC21) in the 21st Century Era. Speak to your immigration lawyer to see if you fall under the exemption.
On the other side, if the H-1B partner leaves his or her employment, he or she will have 60 days to support his or her H-1B and pursue a new employer. If your partner is unable to find a new supporting employer, both of you will fall out of status and have to leave the United States, your EAD will be considered invalid.
Options for H4 Visa Holders
This is the shortest edition (preview) of the actual lesson. I can think of six possible options for holders of H4 Visas who have yet to qualify for H4 EAD.
- Find a full-time work and receive H1B Visa from an employer sponsor.
- Find an advisor and request H1B Visa
- Find a full-time job qualified under Cap-Free H1B (How to Get A Job and Cap Free H1B Visa).
- Go to H4 Visa School
- Go to school in F1 Visa (H4 to F1 adjustment of status)
- Volunteering with H4 Visa in your region.
Working on an H4 visa in the U.S. isn’t always straightforward, and the direction of the H4 EAD system is not entirely evident at this point, but it’s not difficult, so for the point being, it’s a perfect chance for H1B visa holders’ spouses to obtain expertise so earn and receive money in the United States.