Skip to main content

Business Immigration

H-4 Visa Status: Understanding Duration and Modifications


Understanding the duration and changes associated with H-4 visa status is crucial for dependents of H-1B visa holders. In this article, we will explain the key aspects of H-4 visa duration and the process for changes, shedding light on important considerations for families in the U.S. immigration system.

1. How Long Can I Be in H-4 Status For?

H-4 visa holders’ duration of stay is closely tied to the principal H-1B visa holder, with both sharing a six-year limit. However, there’s a ray of hope for those with approved I-140 petitions. H-1B visa holders who are beneficiaries of pending or approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions or labor certification (PERM) applications can extend their stay beyond the standard six-year period. This privilege is a significant benefit, facilitating the immigration journey for H-1B holders and their families.

Unfortunately, these extended benefits are not extended to other H nonimmigrant categories, such as H–1B1 (Free Trade Agreement: Chile and Singapore), H–2A (temporary agricultural workers), and H–2B (temporary nonagricultural work).

2. H-4 Change of Status and Extensions

When your spouse secures an H-1B visa, it’s essential to remember that the H-1B extension or change of status doesn’t automatically apply to you as an H-4 dependent. To obtain H-4 status or seek extensions, you must submit your separate application. This application should include evidence of the principal H1B holder’s valid status and proof of your family relationship.

Importantly, you have the option to file your extension or change of status application simultaneously with the principal H1B application, streamlining the process and ensuring that your immigration status remains in sync with your spouse’s.

Understanding these intricacies of H-4 visa duration and status changes is vital for maintaining lawful immigration status and seizing opportunities for extended stay when applicable. Contact Jeelani Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with our team in regards to your immigration case!

Jeelani Law Firm, PLC

JEELANI LAW FIRM, PLC is regarded as one of the top immigration law firms in the industry. We handle all immigration matters including family based adjustment of status/green card cases, citizenship filings, representation of businesses and employees when filing L1A/B Petitions, H1B petitions, and Permanent Labor petitions. Our firm also litigates immigration cases dealing with delayed adjudications as well as appellate matters before the U.S. Federal Courts, U.S. Immigration Courts, USCIS and the BIA. Given the complex nature of immigration law, inexperience can lead to many mistakes which may result in delays, denials, and loss of filing fees and valuable time. Contact our office and we will take care of the rest.