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Common Questions About H-4 Visas 

Common Questions About H-4 Visas 

PUBLISHED ON: December 24

If you, your spouse, or parent just got a job in the United States, you may be wondering what comes next. Immigration is not for the faint of heart, and with all the different forms and regulations it can be difficult to understand what applies to you. Below w will answer some of the most common questions that we hear about the H-4 visa. If you have questions about your specific immigration case or H-4 Visa application, feel free to reach out and schedule a consultation with the experienced immigration attorneys at Sverdloff Law Group. 

What is an H-4 Visa and how does it differ from an H-1 Visa?

An H-4 Visa is used by the dependents of an H1B Visa holder to be able to enter the country. The H1B Visa is a popular option for nonimmigrant professionals entering the country for employment opportunities. The H-4 Visa allows their spouse and children to enter the country with them. 

What are the benefits of an H-4 Visa?

The biggest benefit of having an H-4 Visa is that it does create a legal avenue to file for legal permanent residency status. This is known as the dual intent privilege; allowing someone to be temporarily present in the United States while also giving them a means of making their presence permanent and legal. This differs from other temporary visas, such as single use visas for tourists and students, which do not provide a means to be the beneficiary of an I-140 immigrant petition. 

How do I apply for an H-4 Visa?

The best way to apply for an H-4 visa depends on whether you are currently in the United States or abroad. If you are in the country, you can apply for a change of status through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the Department of State. If you are overseas, you should contact the U.S. consulate in your country to apply. It is also highly likely that the H-1 recipient’s employer will help with this process. 

How long does an H-4 Visa allow me to stay in the country?

An H-4 Visa remains active as long as the H1B Visa that it is attached to remains active. H1B Visas have a six-year limit, which means that H-4 Visas do as well, of course, you are not guaranteed the full six years. However, there are actions you can take, such as getting an approved I-140, which allow you to pursue citizenship and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit. It is also important to note that if the primary HB1 Visa files for an extension, the extension will not automatically be applied to the connected H-4 Visas. You must apply independently for an extension. 

Talk to an Experienced Immigration Attorney

If you need help applying for an H-4 Visa or with any other immigration matter, the experienced immigration attorneys at Sverdloff Law Group are ready to help and support you throughout the immigration process. Contact Sverdloff Law Group today to schedule a consultation. 


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