Options Available for H4 Visa Holders: A Comprehensive Guide

If you are an H4 visa holder or know someone who is, you may be wondering about the options available to you. The H4 visa is issued to the dependents (spouses and children) of H1B visa holders, who are temporary workers in the US. As an H4 visa holder, you have certain legal rights and options available to you. This guide will explain the different paths you can take as an H4 visa holder.

Key Takeaways

  • H4 visa holders are not authorized to work in the US without obtaining a work authorization document.
  • H4 visa holders can attend school, either full-time or part-time, without obtaining any additional permission.
  • H4 visa holders can apply for a change of status to another non-immigrant visa category or to permanent resident status.
  • H4 visa holders may have the option to apply for an H4 EAD, which allows them to work in the US.
  • H4 visa holders may be eligible for a social security number and a driver’s license.

Attend School

One of the most straightforward options for an H4 visa holder is to attend school. H4 visa holders can attend public schools from kindergarten through grade 12 without obtaining any additional permission. They can also attend college or university as long as they apply for and receive an F1 student visa. This visa allows them to study any full-time course at an accredited institution.

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Change of Status

H4 visa holders may have the option to apply for a change of status to another non-immigrant visa category. This option is available if the H4 visa holder meets the requirements for the new visa category. For example, they could apply for an H1B visa if they have an offer of employment from a US employer. They could also apply for a B visa or an L visa, depending on their situation.

The other option available to H4 visa holders is to apply for permanent resident status or a green card. This option is available if they have a close family member who is a US citizen or a permanent resident, or if they have an employer who is willing to sponsor their green card application.

H4 EAD

H4 visa holders may have the option to apply for an H4 Employment Authorization Document (EAD). This document allows them to work in the US, as long as their H1B visa holder spouse meets certain eligibility criteria. The H1B visa holder must have an approved Form I-140, which is a petition for an immigrant worker, or must be under extension on their H1B visa beyond the six-year limit due to a labor certification pending for 365 days or more.

Social Security Number and Driver’s License

H4 visa holders who are authorized to work in the US, either by obtaining an H4 EAD or through another visa category, are eligible for a social security number. They can apply for a social security number by visiting their local Social Security Administration (SSA) office and presenting the necessary documents. H4 visa holders who are authorized to work may also be eligible for a driver’s license.

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Conclusion

H4 visa holders have several options available to them, from attending school to applying for a change of status or a green card. It is important to research and understand each option’s requirements and limitations to make the best decision for your situation. This guide aims to help you understand the available options and make an informed decision.

FAQs

Can an H4 visa holder work in the US?

H4 visa holders are not authorized to work in the US unless they obtain a work authorization document like an H4 EAD or by applying for a change of status to a visa that allows them to work.

Can an H4 visa holder attend school in the US?

H4 visa holders can attend school in the US without obtaining any additional permission, as long as the school is accredited and they enroll in a full-time course.

Can an H4 visa holder apply for permanent residency?

H4 visa holders may be eligible to apply for permanent residency or a green card if they meet the requirements for this status, such as having a close family member who is a US citizen or a permanent resident or having an employer willing to sponsor their application.

About the Author

Latasha W. Bolt

Latasha is a travel writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a degree in journalism and has been traveling the world since she was a teenager. Latasha is experienced in navigating the visa and passport application process and shares her knowledge and experiences on the blog. Her articles are personal and engaging, providing readers with a unique perspective on the joys and challenges of international travel.

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