Your dependents (spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age) are eligible for H-4 status. Although the spouse and children of H-1B employees usually enter the U.S. as H-4s, they may enter in other visa classifications for which they qualify, such as F-1, J-1, B-2 or H-1B. Domestic partners are ineligible for H-4 status but may apply for B-2 visas. B-2 visitors are not eligible to work or study in the U.S.

Documentation for Changing to or Extending H-4 Status

Your spouse and/or children who are in the U.S. and will be changing to or extending H-4 status must complete Form I-539. The I-539 should be in the name of the principal dependent, not the H-1B.

Children under 14 years should have a parent sign Part 6 of the I-539 using the following language:

“[Parent Name] signing on behalf of minor [Child Name].”

See the H-1B Required Documents for more information.

H-4 Employment

H-4 status prohibits any form of employment in the U.S.

Study in H-4 Status

There is no restriction on study for persons in H-4 status.