The H-4 visa category is temporary and for spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age (dependents) of H-1B workers.

The H-4 status of an eligible spouse or child is dependent on the primary worker maintaining a valid immigration status; hence, they are referred to as “H-4 dependents.”

Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

Certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants can file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, if the H-1B nonimmigrant:

  • Is the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
  • Has been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act (AC21).
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