5 Tips For Getting An H4 Dependent Visa Successfully
An H4 Visa (also known as a dependent’s visa) is issued by the US government to family members of H1B visa holders. It only covers spouses and children (under 21 years of age) and not parents or siblings.
Here are 5 tips on how to successfully get an H4 visa for your family:
1) Process your H1B visa together with your family’s H4 visa
If you are not an H1B visa holder yet and are just about to apply for one, you can already apply for your family’s H4 visa at the same time to simplify the process.
It is advisable to get your spouse’s name endorsed on your passport beforehand. If after marriage your spouse’s last name has changed, then it’s better to endorse the change in her passport beforehand. Otherwise you will have to continue with her maiden name in the U.S. Her maiden name will be used in your identification card and driver’s license in the U.S.
2) Prepare documents ahead of time
Certain documents are needed to apply for the H4 visa. It helps to prepare what you can to save time:
• A copy of your (the H1B applicant’s) current and Valid passport
• Your spouse’s current and valid passport
• Photographs of you and your spouse
• Confirmation page of the DS-160 form with CEAC bar code
• Visa Fees receipt from accredited banks
• Copy of your appointment letter from your employer sponsoring your H1B visa
• Copy of your form I-797 (approving your H1B application)
• Endorsement letter & payslips from your employer
• Original marriage certificate
• Original birth certificates of your children
Sometimes, other proof of marriage is needed. These include wedding album, wedding invitations, your wedding guest list and even the official video showing the actual ceremony and reception. So it’s best to prepare for this early.
3) Schedule your interview early
Slots fill up quickly so scheduling early will prevent you from running out of time. If your interview is too close to your estimated travel or date, the consulate might question why everything is being rushed.
4) Be prepared for your visit to the Embassy/Consulate
On your interview day, arrive early and expect to stand in a line outside since only visa applicants may enter.
All electronic equipment, smartphones, bags, sprays, perfumes, liquids, backpacks, bottles, food, sealed envelopes, packages, and dangerous items are not allowed inside the embassy/consulate. They also do not have a facility to store these items for you. If you bring prohibited items, you will have to dispose of them before entry, so best not to bring any or have a friend or family member hold them for you.
You will go through a security check, which will include a full body metal detector scan so avoid wearing anything that can set of the scanner – chunky jewelry, belts with heavy buckles, metal items etc.
5) Be prepared for your Visa Application Interview
As you wait for your interview, best to keep all your documents ready. When your name is announced, greet the interviewer with a smile, and follow his or her instructions completely.
You will be asked questions and verify your documents. It’s advisable to only answer as politely, truthfully and confidently as possible. The goal of the interview is to check all information you presented in the application, so don’t provide more information than you are asked or present any documents not asked for.