Dependent Family Members

How can my spouse and children obtain visas to accompany me to the U.S.?

If you wish to bring your spouse and children for the duration of your stay in the United States, they will likely have to enter the United States as your dependents.  Your H-1B status does not automatically cover your H-4 dependents.  Unlike H-1B status, however, the H-4 status is not specific to an employer. The University is the acting petitioner for the H-1B member only. 

However, the University can submit concurrently your H-4 dependents Form I-539, supporting documents and applicable fees along with your H-1B petition and supporting documents to USCIS.  Your dependents H-4 status is contingent upon the continued validity of your H-1B status.

  • Travel and Re-entry in H-4 Status – Your dependents may reenter the United States with a valid H-4 visa, provided you continue to maintain your H-1B status.  It is recommended that your H-4 dependents travel with proof of your H-1B status (e.g., copy of I-797 Approval Notice, proof of continued employment, etc.), particularly if your dependents need to obtain a new H-4 visa before reentering the United States.

My spouse would like to work.  Will it be possible?

Typically spouses of H-1B visas cannot obtain work authorization in dependent H-4 status.  They may have to obtain their own work visa, or wait until permanent residence processing has advanced to the required stage, before they obtain work authorization.

Can my spouse get a driver’s license with an H-4 visa?

Yes.  Learn more at the California Department of Motor Vehicles.