The H-4 visa is a type of visa offered through the USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, for family members of H-1B visa holders. There are a number of requirements that non-immigrants must meet in order to apply for H-4 visa permits.  An H-4 visa permits an immediate family member to lawfully live in the United States. The visa application is usually done through the U.S. consulate office in the person’s homeland. If you are located in the U.S. you must fill out a form to change your status.Only immediate family members of authorized H visa holders are eligible to apply for H-4 visas. This includes only the spouse, and unmarried children under the age of 21 of a visa holder. Relatives who have H-1, H-2, and H-3 visas may apply for this type of visa.  If the visa is granted, you will be allowed to lawfully reside in the U.S.

Form DS-160

For those who are eligible, the process begins by completing form DS-160, Non-Immigrant Visa Application, with the USCIS. Once the application is accepted, you will be notified of the date, time, and location of an interview. The interview is generally conducted at the consulate office, if you are living in your homeland. You need to properly prepare for the interview.

Visa Interview

You must bring proper documentation with you to the interview. Your notification letter should indicate which items are necessary. Generally, you must bring a copy of the H-1B worker’s approval notice, also known as form I-797. You must also provide proof of the family relationship. This can be done with a marriage certificate, birth certificate, or other documentation. You must also bring your passport. Make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months. Additionally, you will need to bring a color passport-style photo and the completed DS-160 form.

Help with the Process

Once the interview is successfully completed, you will be granted an H-4 visa. You are then allowed to travel to the United States. The immigration process can be complex and the laws and guidelines regarding various types of visas may change from time to time. It may be helpful to discuss the qualifications and options for work visas with a skilled immigration attorney. Your lawyer will review your individual situation and help you determine the best choices for you and your family.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding H-4 Visa Permits, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at  480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.