Applying for an H4 visa: just go for it!

Its that time of the year when H1 B applications are being fine tuned, read, and re-read. The first date of filing the H1B visa for the year 2012 is April 1, 2011. H1-B visa holders can also file for H4 visa for spouse and children. H4 visa cannot be filed it for other members of the family, say parents or siblings. Members discuss many aspects about the H4/H1 visa interview questions and I would like to give you some quick tips. This will help you to get through the H4 interview process very quickly.

  1. Get all your official paperwork right. Take your spouse's H1 visa papers and other related employment documents.
  2. Get all the paperwork for financial support. Take your spouse's salary slips and bank statements. Get a letter of employment from the spouse's employer. This should clearly state the salary in dollars and is evidence of financial support for the potential H4 visa applicant. 
  3. Get your marriage related paperwork right. Take your marriage certificate and pictures of the wedding.
  4. Get your story right. It should make sense to the officer to give you the H4 visa. Jumbled up stories and mundane reasons to apply for the visa immediately attract suspicion and may lead to rejection of the H4 visa. Be honest. 

For the H4 visa applicant it is the simplest case. Spouse works in the U.S and wants you to live with him in the U.S. Show evidence of your marriage, his legitimate job in the U.S. and evidence of financial support for you and pat! you are done. 

Useful Tips for the H4 visa interview

  1. Go to the right embassy. Many times applicants file for the H4 visa interview in New Delhi and go to Chennai Consulate instead. The processing is different and your visa application is linked to the embassy you choose to go to.
  2. Organize your papers well. Look neat and go with confidence. There is no need to fear anything. Be confident. You are not doing anything wrong. If you get the visa, great! If you don't get it, don't panic. Apply again and follow the instructions of the Officer.
  3. If you miss your H4 interview, here's what you can do next
  4. If you still need more tips for the H4 visa interview, please read my blog post here.

Good luck and please do the community a favor by posting your H4 visa experience here. I would like to thank Anjali for sharing many useful H4 visa interview questions with us.

Thank you for reading,

Administrator

Forums: 

Hi Administrator, I went to

Hi Administrator,
I went to chennai consulate in Feb 2011 for my H4 visa.
I would like to describe my story for other members here. I went with my husband to give my H4 visa interview. Basically they asked him all the questions and never asked me a single question in the first round. The VO had many questions for my husband though. This was the first time he was coming to the U.S. on H1 visa. Earlier he had often visited on the tourist visa.
 
The VO asked him questions like 'Who is your current employer', 'Who is your future employer and do you have any employment agreement?', 'Who is your client?','Is it a vendor company?','Describe your role---what will you be doing in this job?'
 
Then she wrote something on her file and asked us to wait again. She gave our folder back with our passports, I797, DS-160 confirmation letter. We also got a 221(g) pink slip.
 
We also got a token number and had to wait for almost 40 minutes before our turn came. We were anxious during this period and I was not sure if we would get it.
 
When our number flashed on the screen, we got up and went to another window and the VO asked more questions like my name, if I had visited other countries. Finally she asked for my husband's resume one more time and took our passports.
 
Then she said that we would get our passports in 4-6 weeks by courier.
 
At this point we were relieved. We thought-they took our passports! now we can sleep peacefully-the visa will be stamped.
 
We got the stamped passport within 10 days.
 
Now we are going to travel in May 2011. 
 
Thank you for an excellent site for H4 visa holders.
 
Rashmi

Hi Admin,

Hi Admin,

 

I have a question regarding H4 visa (sorry I can't find the button to create new thread).

 

I recently filed my H1B application (I'm currently working in US). Can I later get married and apply for H4 for my wife after I have H1B? I mean do I have to get married before I apply H1B? If yes, do I need to visit my country to have my H1B stamp? Thanks much.

 

Regards,

Vu Tran

Hello,

Hello,

Background :

I came to USA on  F1 visa in Nov 2008, and completed my graduation in Feb 2011, then after I worked full time on OPT till March 2012. Currently I am full time student and employed on full time CPT.

I applied for H1B on April 11 2012 and receiived approval on April 18 2012. I am married and we have one son. My family (wife & son)  applied 5 time (4-F2 & 1-Visitor) for USA visa, all time rejected.

 

Concern : 

When (how soon) they can apply/schedule for H4 visa stampting interview?

Once they get stampling, how soon they can come to USA? 

I read on blocks they cannot come to USA prior to Sep 20 2012.

As my son's school will start in August, I want them to come USA atleast a month before August.

Awaitng for your positive reply ASAP.

Thanks

 

 

Hello Hari,

Hello Hari,

Thank you for posting. Remember this is a community based website where people invest time and energy to help each other out. We encourage people to be polite. I doubt using terms like ASAP are good when you want people to give you free help..:) 

Now to answer your questions. I understand this would be a big dilema for you but here are the rules that guide a fresh H1 visa applicant's visa stamping and entry to the U.S. These also reflect how H4 visa holders should go about their stamping and entry into the U.S.

 
For H1 visa holders :
In accordance with the rules explained on the VFS website, you can apply upto 90 days before October 1, 2012 which is July 1, 2012 or late June, 2012. Here's the relevant VFS quote for you:

You can apply for an H1B visa up to 90 days in advance beginning of employment status as noted on the form I-797, Notice of Action, however your entry to the US is restricted to 10 days prior to the start date as noted in the Form I-797 unless you are already working on an H1B visa and have applied for a revalidation.

 

  1. What's the start date on your I 797 ? 
  2. I doubt your family can enter prior to the school session. Everything depends on the date of the beginning of employment status.
  3. Talk to your lawyer about this and confirm. Please share your findings here as a lot of people seem to have the same questions as you.

Let me know if you need more help.

Good luck!

Admin

IANAL

Hi Admin:

Hi Admin:

I have the simillar story like HARI.

I came to US on F1 visa in 2008. I completed my Master in 2010. I got married in 2009 and applied my wife's dependent F2 twice but got rejectionss both the times with out any specific reasons. We received a predrafted white letter in response. After two rejections, I decided to apply for her H4 only. (H1B and Greencard are considered to be stable statuses compare to F1).

Currently I am working on CPT with employer A. I have filed my H1B with employer B. I am expecting H1B approval by end of July as it is a regular process. I got a receipt from USCIS that they received my H1B documents on 9th April 2012.

I visited one of the blogs and got information that my wife can apply H4 prior to 90 dyas of my H1B status. This date is the one that reflects on I797 form as my employment start date.

I have always been employed during my CPT. I have all payrolls from my employer A where I am currently working. My H1B will be from employer B. Since there are two employers involved in this case, I have following questions.

Can I initiate my wife's H4 stamping before 90 days? The only risk I am seeing is: I do not have any payrolls generated from Employer B as I am going to work with him from 1st October onwards. I am not sure if I should take this risk. 

I and my wife have been seperated for last 2 years and 4 months. and this is the reason I am losing my patience and do not feel like waiting for two payrolls to be generated from my H1B employer B. but at the time I feel if this is a risky bet, I should wait for couple of more months and apply for it.

What should be the next course of actions to get H4 stamped for my wife sooner?

What all documents should I prepare to justify my case?

Any other comments/advice/suggestion from your side.

I am visiting this blog for the first time and thought of posting my concern.

Appreciate if you can anwer this.

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Prit,

Hello Prit,

Thank you for posting and I really understand your frustration. Look at the sunny side. It is already May and it's a matter of only a few more months..:) So I would suggest do it right, and get it done in the first go. 

  1. Remember as per my posting in reply to Hari's concern also mentioned that the H1 B applicant (and I assume the H4 visa applicant as well) can enter 10 days prior to the start date as mentioned on the Notice of Action 1797.
  2. So you can apply earlier but what about her actual entry to the country?
  3. If you are starting a new job, it is ok to not have any pay stubs. Send her a copy of your bank balance and all the pay stubs you have from during your CPT. That should be good enough. Letter of employment clearly stating your salary and benefits is also a useful reference.
  4. There is a wealth of information on our website and a good starting point is to look at forums like : Post questions asked in your H4 visa interview and F1/F2 Visa Interview Questions. In the second forum read about Rajiv's experience. Don't forget to say thanks to him! :)
  5. Talk to the lawyer of your employer B about your concerns and share your findings here. 

Let me know if you need any other help.

Thanks,

Admin

IANAL

Hi Adminsitartor,

Hi Adminsitartor,

 

My name is Nandan and i got engaged on May 10,2011. I am currently on H1B and it's valid till October,2012.My marriage date is fixed on November 17th,18th 2012.

I want her to come along with me after marriage to US.

I have few questions and if you can help me with that it will be very grateful.

1) When can i block the dates for H4 visa after the marriage? I will be getting the marriage certificate next day itself, but her passport will not have my name as her husband. So i am not sure how long it's going to take to get the modification done on the passport. Once it is done then only she can get the HDFC recepit for blocking dates.

Please correct me if i am not wrong, the HDFC receipt should have the name same as on passport right?

2) Once i recieve the passport then we have to again block the dates. Can you please guide me throught this as i am not able to find clear answers anywhere?

 

Thanks

Nandan

Hello Nandan,

Hello Nandan,

First of all congratulations on your engagement. I can understand the process may be very complicated. Here is what you should do:

  1. Deposit the fee anytime. The validity of the receipt is for a year. Get this done. It is the simplest task and will take one thing off your plate.
  2. Forget about name change in passport. It is not important. More and more women are opting for this choice and having their maiden names in the passport.
  3. It is also not necessary to have your name as spouse  on her passport. Marriage certificate is good enough for that. All this will just save you a lot of  time and energy! Then again, it is your call if you absolutely want to get this done..:)
  4. You can block interview dates 15 dates prior. These dates usually open for the next 15 days only. 
  5. If you expect your marriage certificate to be done by say November 19th, block any date for H4 visa interview after that. Start looking at VFS availability dates from November 1. For this you will need to fill the DS 160 form and have your HDFC receipt.

I hope this will help you. Let us know if you need more help.

It would be great if you can come back and post the outcome of your wife's interview in November. Will really help our voluntary effort here.

Thank you,

Admin

IANAL

Hi,

Hi,

My husband is in US on H1 visa. Now we want to process H4 for me and my 3 yr old son. We have only church given marriage certificate. Can we process H4 with this? Kindly help. urgent!

 

Dear Administrator, My wife

Dear Administrator, My wife is currently on H1B visa which will expire on october 2012. She is planning to quit her job due to personal reasons and she already aplied for H4 visa since I am also on H1B visa. My question is:

1.)  When is the best time for her to pass her resignation letter? she is afraid that she might be out of status if she quit early.

2.) What specific end date will she put in her resignation letter? since the H4 visa approval date is indefinite and she dont want to burn bridges with her employer.

 

Hello Jer-jer,

Hello Jer-jer,

She can file for change of status anytime. Talk to your company's attorney about the appropriate timeline but I assume you have taken care of that since you have already initiated the H4 visa filing. I suspect there will any issue in the status change process at all. People change their visa status all the time. And no, this process will not burn bridges with her employer...:) She can look at the HR policies of her company and decide when she wants to quit work.

Thanks!

Admin

IANAL

 

Dear Administrator,

Dear Administrator,

My compnay is applying for me H1B visa for FY2013 and now I have received my receipt number.

I have few quires and it will be very helpful before attending the interiew.

1) I got married  on Nov 2011 and got registered my marrigae too, now I want to take my wife along with me, if my H1visa get stamped. Can I apply  H4 Visa for my wife along with me. If yes, what is the procedure and what documents i need to produce.

2) I also checked with my company and they are saying first you get H1 stampped and then later you can apply for your wife as you need to show US Paystubs and some other documents etc.

3) we both dint not vist USA before, so will both husband and wife can apply H1 and H4 newly together or it is mandatory some one who should vist USA before then only you will get H4 visa.

 

Thanks in advance for your valuable reply

Anyway I will try my level best to take my wife along with me..

 

Regards,

Raja

Hi

Hi

I am to be married on July 11th 2012. I currently live and work in Bangalore, but I am originally from Cuttack, Orissa. My fiance has a H1B and is currently living in Jersey City. I need help with the below two queries:

1. I was trying to fill up the DS 160 form so that I can book an interview slot for 16th July. The form asks if I am married or single. I am worried as to what to fill up for this. At this point of time I am not married and hence cannot fill up the status as "married", but I will be at the time of the interview. What should I do?

2. I currently live in Bangalore. But I am from orissa originally. Can I apply at the Kolkata consulate instead of the Chennai consulate?

Please help me with the above queries. Really appreciate the help.

Thanks in advance!

Regards

Aby

Hello Aby,

Hello Aby,

  1. Fill 'married' . At the time of the H4 visa interview you should be married.
  2. Have you lived in Bangalore for the past six months? In that case you should go to Chennai Consulate. What city are you getting married into? For example, you can also go to the Consulate covering the city where you'd be marrying into (your in laws home)

Let me know if you need more help. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

Admin

IANAL

HI All,

HI All,

I have changed my employer before applying my new H1 and it is approved now. i'm planning to block my wife's H4 in Aug.

what would be the best answer for this question.

1. why your husband changed employer?

2. i'm getting the salary exactly equal to what is mentioned in LCA. is that going to be a problem?

3. we have registered our marriage after 1 year from the marriage date. any suitable answer for this if they ask why it took so long to register it?

4. Does my employer has to sponsor for my wife's H4 or do i (as this is my first H1 and my employer paid for my H1)?

5 ours is love marriage. so VO consider about whether our parents accepted our marriage or not ( our parents are not accepted)

im so tensed (may b thinking too much) about my wifes h4 visa as she is having 3 F, 1 h1 rejections and 1 L1 success in last 4 years.

Thanks you all the members for your suggesstions and valuable advises. Also thanks to Admin for this great site.

Hello Manishan,

Hello Manishan,

Please find my answers/suggestions in line

[quote=manishan]HI All,

I have changed my employer before applying my new H1 and it is approved now. i'm planning to block my wife's H4 in Aug.

what would be the best answer for this question.

1. why your husband changed employer? SHOULD NOT MATTER. PEOPLE CHANGE JOBS ALL THE TIME.

2. i'm getting the salary exactly equal to what is mentioned in LCA. is that going to be a problem? SHOULD NOT BE 

3. we have registered our marriage after 1 year from the marriage date. any suitable answer for this if they ask why it took so long to register it? IT SHOULD NOT MATTER AGAIN AS LONG AS YOU HAVE IT REGISTERED.

4. Does my employer has to sponsor for my wife's H4 or do i (as this is my first H1 and my employer paid for my H1)? USUALLY THE EMPLOYER SPONSORS H4 VISA. IS YOUR EMPLOYER NOT WILLING TO TO THIS?

5 ours is love marriage. so VO consider about whether our parents accepted our marriage or not ( our parents are not accepted) IT SHOULD NOT AFFECT FINAL OUTCOME. JUST TELL HER TO EXPLAIN THE CIRCUMSTANCES IF ASKED.

im so tensed (may b thinking too much) about my wifes h4 visa as she is having 3 F, 1 h1 rejections and 1 L1 success in last 4 years.

Thanks you all the members for your suggesstions and valuable advises. Also thanks to Admin for this great site.[/quote]

Just tell her to be confident and carry all the relevant paperwork. Don't be stressed about this and we hope you get the H4 visa for your wife soon.

Let us know if we can help in any other way.

Thanks,

Admin

IANAL

 

 

 

Dear Admin, Ianal & Rajiv

 

 

I always find your forum very useful. First I would like to brief you about me. Currently I'm in USA on F1 (OPT Extension - End date XX-XX-2013) and my H1B (2013 Quota) got approved in May 2012 (with a activation date of October 1st 2012). I got my I-797. 
My all queries are related to my spouse's H4 visa.
Previously my spouse applied once for F2 visa (in Jan 2012) which got denied ( VO said that your husband can't support you and you should apply again for H4 visa once your husband got H1b visa).
Q1: Is it possible for my spouse to apply for H4 visa from 1st July 2012 onwards (without my H1b Stamp and before activation date of my H1b [Oct-01-2012]) on behalf of my I-797 H1b approval? 
Q2: I'm aware that she can travel to USA only after 21st September 2012 ( Please, correct me if I'm wrong)
Q3: Currently my employer is paying me less than what's mentioned on LCA ( I'm on percentage bases in a EVC model) but he promised to raise my wages as soon as H1b period starts. Will this be a problem during H4 visa interview when my spouse will show VO my paystuff [It's 52-55K per annum] which is less than what mentioned on LCA. Consider that fact that my H1b is still not started..
Q4: please let me know if my spouse needs to carry Original or copy of below documents from my side for H4 visa interview:

 

<ol> <li>

I-797 Original or Copy </li><li>I-129 Original or Copy </li></li>LCA Original or Copy

</li> </ol>

 

 

 

- Aamoo

Hello Aman,

Hello Aman,

Thank you for the kind remarks. Hope you find the help below useful.

  1. Yes she can
  2. You are absolutely right.
  3. It is tough to comment on this. She may have to point out the explanation you have given here if a concern is raised.
  4. Colored copies are good enough.

Thank you,

Admin

IANAL

 

Hi Admin,

Hi Admin,

Thanks for the reply, can you also please let me know if i can have both H1 and H4 visas.. But travel on H4 and work on H1?

 

Thanks & Regards,

Haripriya

Hi Admin,

Hi Admin,

 

Thanks for the reply. Can you also please let me know if I can work on H1 after going to USA on H4...

 

Thanks,

Hari

Guys,

Guys,

 

Now my lawyer says you cannot go for H4 until 30 days before H1 start date i.e. September 1st. Any ideas???? To go or not go in July. VFS is saying  completely different thing.  

Hello KJ,

Hello KJ,

Can you ask your lawyer to send you the rule that states the above? It would greatly help us all solving this big puzzle. If you choose to follow the VFS rules, you should be good to go! The important thing is that even if you get the visa now you can enter U.S. 10 days prior to the starting date on H1B visa holder's I797.

Admin

IANAL

Yeah, she won't be able to

Yeah, she won't be able to enter until Sept 21st, that is fine. Atleast after F2 rejection we just wanna clear up all uncertainities. I will ask my lawyer, only if he picks up my phone :). But somehow I feel its 90 days and 30 days, my lawyer is just lying probably. 

Hi,

Hi,

I am new to this site and I am sorry if I posted at a wrong place. I have a question regarding the first time H4 Stamping and will be thankfull for any suggestion. I can in USA in 2006 on F1 complete it by 2008 and filed my H1B with Employer A, then I moved to Employer B in 2010 and I am working still with Employer B. My wife and Son have been with me since starting so they have a F2 and Vistor visa stamp.

 

Now they are going for H4 Visa Stamping and I am not having H1 B Stamp do they need I-129 from my 1st employer.

 

Thanks in Advance.

 

Hello RM,

Hello RM,

Just send it to be safe but mostly papers related to your current employment should be ok. It does not matter that you do not have your H1B stamped.

I'd recommend that you confirm with your lawyer as well and share your findings here, if that's ok with you.

Thanks,

Admin

IANAL

 

 

Hi

 

My petition for H1B visa has been approved just two days ago, I am in USA right now on F1 OPT Status and my wife is in India.

Can my wife apply for H4 Visa right now or she has to wait till September 20, 2012 to apply for the visa ?

 

If someone has already done something like this please post your feedback / views.

 

Thanks

Brijesh

 

 

Dear brijesh you are interested for sell your visa,passport and job latter copy only i don't need your Spencer i need only copy if you interested please replay fast in surtmarg@gmail.com    

Hi,

Hi,

 We applied for my 3 months old daughter's visa in Delhi,After 1 week of applying visa waiver, her

passport was sent back and she was asked to appear in person.My wife took her for interview and they didn't asked any question just saw her face and told that passport will be sent in 2-3 businss days.Ufortunately after 10 business working days her stamped passport has not arrived.Is there a way i can track the status now.(phonenumber.,or website).I checked on VFS website and it shows the earlier status. (Passport sent to my visa agency).I need to find out the exact current status.Please help. Any help is highly appreciated.

 

Thanks

Mahesh

Hello,

Hello,

My wife and kid went for a H4 visa interview in chennai US consulate on MAY 2nd 2013, Visa interview got the passport of both kid and spouse and said "I am approving your visa for your kid however your visa needs some back ground processing ".she was issued with the pink slip when she enquired more , he said your visa is almost approved and said some more back ground check required and said not to worry with a smile it seems.

 

My son got his passport with visa stamped , My wife case is still reflecting as admin processing , Do you know how long this process takes what bother's me is both my son and wife have same documents what else they need to verify .

Only thing is My wife has her last name as her father's name which is a common muslim name , but my name is isnt .

 

can anyone help me in suggesting , what should be the reason and how long the waiting time has been for similar cases before.

 

Thanks in advance,

Nadeem 

My H1 got approved this year.

My H1 got approved this year. My wife need to apply for H4, she is in India right now. I wanted to know that if everything goes right and if she gets her H4 Visa Stamped till August, When can she enter the US? Will she be able to enter in October only as H1 gets activated on October 1st every year? Please let me know and oblige. Thank you.

 

 
Hi. I'm a former J1 holder subject to 2-year rule. I left US on the 9th August 2011. After that, I re-entered in the US 5 times with a B1 Visa, previously issued in 2006. In the meanwhile, I also married in my country my fianceè (about 1 year ago) who works in US and he's a H1 older. I would like to apply for the H4 so that later we can apply to green card together under his Institution. Here are my questions:
1) Will the 7 months that I spent in total in US extend my two-year period? My guess is yes, since on the online procedure they ask to indicate the last 5 entries/exits from US.
2) If I have to wait until March to finish the period, and I go to US for very short, like 1 week for two times, my last 5 entries will result in less time (i will substitute 1 week for 1 month for example). Is there any chance they will investigate more?
3) My husband within 1 year has to apply to the green card because it's his last h1. If he applies for the green card and I will able to apply only later, which are the chances for me to get it in a separate procedure?
4) Do you have any tip for me considering that I'm desperate and I would like to be next to my husband as soon as possible?

Hi Admin,

Hi Admin,

I'm a H-1B holder and working in United States. Me and my wife were working in the UK before I moved to states a month back. She is still in the UK and we are planning to file H4 for her. But at the same time she is planning to continue her job in UK and her employer has got convinced that she can work from home in US and travel once a month to UK for a week. I hope this is a legal scenario since she would still be not working in the US. Would there be any problems with her H4 Visa interview in this case. Thoughts/Suggestions?

Hello sir am currently

Hello sir am currently staying in US on h4 status I have few questions regarding h4 visa stamping
My visa expired on november 2012 and a couple of months back my husband went to india and stamping he is on h1b status
In a few days am planning to go india and I have to attend the interview now my question is I heard that now we can submit our documents through drop box so that we no need to attend the interview

Is there any difference between drop box and directly facing the interview .....which one do you suggest

Please help me am very much tensed and worried about stamping

Thanks

Hello admin am on h4 visa and

Hello admin am on h4 visa and it was expired on novmber 15 2012 now am planning to attend visa interview
Recently I heard the drop box system for US visa interviewers

Please suggest me which one do I have to choose

Is their any difference between the two

Please suggest me do I need to attend the interview or can I drop my documents in the drop box

Very urgent

Hello Admin,

Hello Admin,

I am going to apply for H4 visa. My husband got his H1 approved in the month of April&nbsp;and its activation is from 1st October 2013. Shall I go for an interview after activation or else can I go for an interview before.

&nbsp;

Hello Admin,

Hello Admin,

I am going to apply for H4 visa. My husband got his H1 approved in the month of April and its activation is from 1st October 2013. Shall I go for an interview after activation or else can I go for an interview before.

 

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