H4 Visa: Benefits, Eligibility & Application

The United States had significant economic growth in 2021, with real GDP rising 5.7% over the previous year. This is the strongest growth the US has seen since 1984. The U.S has 5% of the world’s population and generates 20% of the world’s total income. It is the world’s largest national economy and the leading global trader. All these aspects make the U.S a promising place to work. The H1B is a visa that allows employers to temporarily employ foreigners in specialty occupations.. The H4 visa is for the spouse and dependents of H visa holders. Today we will be talking about the details of the H4 visa.

H4 Visa
H4 Visa

What is the H4 Visa?

The eligibility criteria for an H4 visa:

The H-4 visa is for the spouses and dependents of H visa holders. It allows the spouses and dependants to accompany the H visa holder into the U.S. 

The current H visas include:

H1B: for specialty workers with bachelor’s degrees

H1B1: for specialty workers from Chile and Singapore

H2A: for temporary agricultural workers

H2B: for temporary nonagricultural workers

H3: for those that are coming to the U.S. for training purposes


The status of the  H-4 visa is connected to the H visa holder. If the H visa holder loses their status, the H4 visa will lose their status as well. If the H visa holder’s status is extended then the H-4 visa will be extended as well. 

Benefits of the H4 Visa

The H4 visa holder will be able to live and study in the U.S. Spouses of H-1B holders can also work. In order to work  they need to get valid Employment Authorization Documents (EAD). Also since 2015, H-4 visa holders can apply for lawful permanent residence (green cards).

H4 Visa Fees

The fees for the H4 visa is $190.

H4 Visa Application

When applying for an H4 visa, the applicant  will need to take the following steps:

  • Apply online using Form DS-160. 
  • When the applicant starts the H4 online visa application, they will need to print the barcode confirmation page to take with them to interview.
  • They will need to pay the applicable H4 visa fee. They should save their fee receipt as they will require this later. Currently, the application fee for an H4 visa is $190.
  • Schedule a visa interview appointment with their local US Embassy or consulate. Having scheduled your interview, they will get a letter of confirmation, which they will need to retain.
  • Submit their H4 visa documents. 

Documents Required for H4 Visa

Applicants must provide the following documents to apply for the H4 visa:

  • Filled DS-160 application form.
  • Their valid passport with at least one blank page.
  • Two US visa photographs.
  • Receipt proving payment of $190 for a nonimmigrant US visa application.
  • Photocopy of the primary H visa holder visa.
  • Photocopy of their spouse’s/parent’s I-129 form, I-797 form, and the Labor Certification Application (LCA).
  • A copy of their spouse’s/parent’s passport with a clear, identifiable photo.
  • Their spouse’s/parent’s letter of employment in the US.
  • Copies of their spouse’s/parent’s letters of previous work experience.
  • Recent pay stubs and tax filing information, if their spouse/parent is already working in the US.
  • If they are the child of the H type visa holder, they need to submit the original birth certificate.
  • Marriage certificate: Many applicants attempt to fake being married to each other. The applicant will have to prove that they have been married according to their country’s wedding tradition or at the wedding registrar. This can be done by submitting the following proof:
  • Wedding photographs where you and your spouse are clearly seen in the pictures and DVDs.
  • Wedding invitations.
  • List of wedding guests.
  • Receipts for payments of wedding expenses.
  • Booking receipts of your honeymoon or other post-marriage trips.
  • If married only at the wedding registrar, you need to have these:
  • Copy of your signed wedding registrar affidavit.
  • Pictures of you and your spouse signing the marriage certificate.
  • Pictures of your witnesses and whoever was conducting the ceremony.

H4 Visa Interview Questions 

After the applicant has applied online and submitted their documents, they need to attend the H4 visa interview. During the interview, the interviewers will try to determine the legitimacy of the applicant’s relationship with the H type visa holder. 

H4 Visa Status 

The applicant can enter their application number on the US Embassy website to check the visa status. You can check your H4 visa cases through CEAC Visa Status Check online portal, using the case number or CEAC barcode on the DS-160 confirmation page. Once the H4 visa is processed, the embassy will notify the applicant. If the applicant is granted the H4 visa, they will need to go for the visa stamping procedure next. Visa stamping will be the last step the applicant has to complete before booking their trip to the US. 

If the applicant is outside the US, they will need to submit their H4 visa application at the same embassy where their spouse or parent has applied. If the applicant and spouse are of different nationalities, they must apply in their home country. If the applicant is within the US, they can submit their H4 visa application through the USCIS. 

Please note that having an H4 visa or any US visa types does not guarantee entry to the US.  The port of entry officers and the Department of Homeland Security make that decision. If they decide to let the applicant enter the US, they can. 

H4 Visa Processing Time 

The H4 visa processing times vary from country to country. It is likely that the visa will take as long as the spouse or parent’s H visa takes to process.

If the spouse or dependent is applying separately from the H visa holder, the US Embassy’s workload will determine the time it takes to process the H4 visa. 

To ask any questions related to the rights of NRIs, PIOs, and OCIs, you can download SBNRI App from the Google Play Store or App Store. You can also use the SBNRI app for investment in stock market/ mutual funds, NRI account opening, tax filing, etc. To ask any questions, click on the button below. Also, visit our blog and YouTube channel for more details. 

Ask Indian Friend Now


Can an H4 visa holder work in the United States ?

Yes they can, once they get valid Employment Authorization Documents (EAD).

How long is the H4 visa valid ?

The H4 visa is valid as long the H visa holder’s visa it is connected to, is valid for.

Is it true that many people try to fake their marriage for the purposes of this visa ?

Yes, this is why extensive proof has to be given of the marriage.

What is the fee for the H4 visa ?

It is $190.

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