H-4 Dependent Family Members

A spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to come to the U.S. as the H-4 dependents of an H-1B worker.

Obtaining H-4 Status

A family member coming from outside the U.S. can obtain an H-4 visa by filing the necessary visa application (DS-160) and presenting the following documentation to the U.S. consulate:

  • Copy of the H-1B Approval Notice
  • Proof of family relationship to the H-1B (marriage certificate for spouse and birth certificates for children)

A family member currently in the U.S. can change their immigration status to H-4 or extend their H-4 status by making an application to USCIS. Contact HR for additional information. While KU can provide general information to H-4 dependents and direct individuals to necessary USCIS resources, KU cannot prepare immigration applications on behalf of H-4 individuals, as they are personal applications and not KU sponsored petitions.

H-4 Employment

In most circumstances H-4 dependents are not permitted to work in the U.S. and are not eligible for a social security number.

There is a limited exception to this rule for certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B workers who are in the employment-based permanent residence process. To be eligible, the H-1B employee must either be the beneficiary of an approved I-140 immigrant visa petition, or have been granted a post-sixth-year extension of H-1B status under Section 106 of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000. H-4 dependents in these circumstances are eligible to apply to USCIS for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) which provides unrestricted work permission. Please contact HR for further details.