If you have a family member living in the United States, you may be eligible for a visa, and we’ll walk you through how to apply for an H4 Visa. An H4 Visa is a visa for dependent family members of specific US visa holders to reunite with their families in the United States.
With a valid H-4 visa, you can move to the USA, provided an H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 visa holder is your close relation. You can apply online for an H4 visa. But before then, ensure you hold all the required documents (listed below).
Here’s how to complete an H4 visa application in three steps:
Step 1: Fill out the Form DS-160 online
Before anything else, you’ll have to complete the Form DS-160 online, requiring you to provide relevant information and upload some documents.
After completing the form, print the application confirmation page, which contains your barcode.
Step 2: Pay visa application fee
An H4 visa costs $160, although there is another fee you may have to pay, like a biometrics services fee of $85. Ensure you print out its receipt after making its payment.
Note that the fee payment is mandatory to process your visa application.
Step 3: Book a visa interview at a US embassy or consulate
Now, you must schedule a visa appointment at the United States embassy or consulate closest to you. Find a US diplomatic mission in your country. You’ll also need to book an appointment for biometrics.
Endeavor to schedule your visa interview early, as visa processing time is inestimable.
If you’re already in the US on a nonimmigrant visa, you have to complete the Form I-539 instead of a Form DS-160. The form enables you to change your current visa status, and a processing fee of $370 is required.
What Documents are Needed for an H-4 Visa?
The following is a list of the documents required to apply for an H4 visa:
- Duplicate of your passport’s bio-data page
- Copy of the principal H visa (If you’re both applying at the same time, provide a duplicate of their H visa application)
- Photocopy of the bio-data page of the principal H visa holder’s passport
- Two passport-size photos
- Proof of good financial standing, such as your recent bank statements
- H4 visa application confirmation
- Marriage certificate (If the principal visa holder is your spouse)
- Birth certificate(s) for unmarried children below 21 years of age
- A reference letter from the H1 visa holder’s sponsor
- H4 visa application fee receipt
Related Post: If My US Visa Is Rejected When Can I Apply Again?
How Long Does It Take to Get the H-4 Visa?
H4 visa processing time may vary depending on how many applications the US embassy you’re applying through has at that moment. While it normally takes 90 days to get an H4 visa from outside the US, the visa processing takes between 9 to 16 months if you’re already in the US.
Be aware that there’s no way to hasten the processing time for a fee.