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I Am Applying for a U.S. Work Visa. Can I Bring My Family?

four people in a work meeting

Seeking career opportunities in another country can be daunting, especially if you have to leave your loved ones behind. If you seek employment in the United States as a foreign national, you might wonder if you can bring your family along with you. Our Dallas immigration attorneys explain if you can obtain a visa for your spouse or children if you received an employment visa in the United States.

Immigration laws are ever-changing. Contact our Dallas immigration attorneys today at (844) 299-5003 to learn more about your options!

Working in the United States with Family

In most cases, individuals with employment visas can bring their spouses and dependent children with them to the United States. However, although your children will be able to attend school, your spouse can only accompany you to the United States. They will not be able to seek employment.

For example, if you receive an H-1B visa, your spouse and children can accompany you to the U.S. by obtaining H-4 visas. To qualify, your children must be under the age of 21 and must receive their individual H-4 visas. Ultimately, the type of visa your family receives will depend on the work visa you are applying for.

How to Apply for an H-4 Visa

If you are receiving an H-1B visa, your family will need to apply for an H-4 visa to accompany you to the United States. If you are currently overseas, your family can apply for their H-4 visa at the U.S. consulate in your home country. They can submit their application once the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved your H-1B visa petition. Your family can’t obtain their H-4 visa until you have received your H-1B visa.

The consulate will ask your family to provide the following documents when applying for an H-4 visa:

  • A copy of your H-1B Approval Notice (Form I-797) from the USCIS

  • Marriage certificate or birth certificate proving the family relationship between you and the H-4 applicants

  • A passport that is valid for at least the upcoming six months

  • A completed and signed Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application.

  • A photo and ID verification

What Are H-4 Visa Holders Allowed to Do While in the U.S.?

Under U.S. immigration laws, H-4 visa holders are allowed to study at any U.S. university. However, H-4 visa holders are not permitted to work in the United States. An H-4 visa holder is only allowed to apply for work authorization if the principal worker with the H-1B visa is applying for lawful permanent resident status (LPR) or has received an extension of H-1V status beyond the six-year limit.

H-4 visa holders can also travel in and out of the United States. There is no requirement for them to accompany the H-1B visa holder all the time.

How Do I Know If My Family Qualifies for a Visa?

If you are applying for another employment visa aside from the H-1B visa, you should speak to an experienced immigration attorney to determine if your family can accompany you to the United States. Our team at Akula & Associates P.C. has helped foreign workers understand their options when seeking employment in the United States. Our team of immigration attorneys can help you determine if your family can come with you to the United States and what they need to get approval. We have the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to help you achieve your immigration goals.

Need legal guidance? Get in touch with our Dallas immigration attorneys today at (844) 299-5003 to schedule a consultation!