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Does your spouse have an H-1B visa? Here’s what you need to know

H-1B visas provide exciting opportunities for workers looking to come to the United States. Someone with an H-1B can find work in a specialty occupation, while also working toward becoming an American citizen.

The H-1B also provides opportunities for someone’s spouse. If your spouse holds an H-1B visa, here is what you need to know:

Spouses of H1B holders can apply for an employment visa

If you are married to someone who was approved for an H-1B visa, you can apply for H-4 visa status. This allows spouses of H-1B workers to get approval for work in the U.S. If granted, the H-4 visa enables you to work in any industry or field and for any employer.

Eligibility depends on your spouse’s status

To qualify for the H-4 visa, someone’s spouse must be on track to getting a green card based on their H-1B visa. This can happen in a few different ways. If the government approves an extension of your spouse’s H-1B, you can move forward with your own application. Alternatively, if they have an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140), you qualify for the H-4.

How do I apply for an H-4 based on my spouse’s H1B?

First, you’ll need the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765). You will also need a copy of your marriage certificate, a government-issued ID, and a copy of your Arrival/Departure Record.

An applicant can always ask for help

It is normal to feel overwhelmed during this process. With so much on the line, it helps to consult with an immigration lawyer experienced in assisting families with the legal process.

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