An H-4 is a dependent visa granted to the immediate family members of those holding H Visas.
The H-1B Visa allows employers in the United States to employ foreign workers in some outlined specialty occupations. The H-2A and H-2B are for seasonal agricultural and non-agricultural workers, while the H-3 is reserved to trainees.
The H-4 visa allows spouses and children under the age of 21 to legally come to the United States with the H-1B visa holder.
An H-4 Visa holder is ineligible for a Social Security number or to be employed in the United States. Generally, it is not even recommended to do volunteer work.
There are a few things that you can do on an H-4 visa, such as:
- Obtain a driver's license
- Open a bank account
- Attend school and college
There are some ways for an H-4 visa holder to eventually obtain a green card. Since this is a dual-intent visa, there are a few ways that this can happen, such as through a Labor Certification filed by a U.S. Company, or a family-based immigrant petition.
If an H-4 Visa holder under the age of 21 chooses to attend college or university in the United States, he or she may be able to change their status from a H-4 to an F-1 student visa.
The F-1 student visa allows a student to remain in the United States after the age of 21 and will allow the student to file for a temporary work permit once they complete his or her studies.
While someone that is in the country on a H-4 visa does not have many options for employment, the benefit of this visa is that it is a flexible visa that allows its holders a number of other visa options.
For any questions or concerns you may have about the H-4 visa or any possible change of status, speak to an experienced New Jersey Immigration lawyer.