UCI International Center

H-4 Dependents

Section 1

H-4 status is available to spouses and unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) of H-1B beneficiaries.

  • Dependents who entered the U.S. in H-4 status, or who changed to H-4 status from another non-immigrant status may remain in the U.S. until the end date on their last I-94 document.
  • H-4 status for children expires when they reach 21 years of age.
  • If H-4 dependents are physically in the U.S. and their status is expiring, the dependent family member(s) can file a Form I-539 with USCIS prior to the end date of the current immigration status to obtain/extend H-4 status in U.S.
    • As a courtesy, IC will submit the I-539 application along with the I-129 petition for the H1B principal applicant. Please note, the Form I-539 is a self-petition, and you and your dependent(s) are responsible for making sure that the application is completed and signed correctly and all fees and documents are included.

  • H-4 status is contingent upon the continued validity of the primary H-1B employee.

  • If an H-4 dependent is abroad, they must apply for an H-4 visa stamp with the documents of the main beneficiary to be able to enter the U.S.

  • H-4 dependents traveling separately must take the original I-797 H-4 approval notice (if applicable), proof of relationship (e.g. marriage/birth certificate), and copies of the H-1B documents listed in the H-1B travel section for the primary H-1B employee.

  • H-4 dependents are permitted to study in the U.S., and some H-4 dependents may be eligible for employment authorization.