Spouses & Children

Spouses and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of H-1B visa holders are considered dependents and are eligible for H-4 status.

H-4 visa holders are only eligible to stay in the United States while their H-1B spouse or parent is in the United States maintaining the terms and conditions of their H-1B visa status.

Employment & Work Authorization

Most H-4 visa holders are not permitted to work in the United States and cannot obtain Social Security Numbers. However, a special provision allows certain H-4 spouse visa holders to apply for work authorization.

An H-4 spouse's approved work authorization may be automatically extended with a pending renewal application under certain conditions. Please speak to an OISS adviser if you have questions.

Changing Visa Status to H-1B

H-4 visa holders may apply to change their visa status to H-1B if they qualify for the specialty occupation requirement and find an employer who is willing to file a petition on their behalf.

Education & Study

H-4 visa holders may study in the United States, full-time or part-time, for the duration of the H-1B's period of stay.