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Immigration and Visas

H-4 Dependents

H-4 status is limited to spouses and children of H-1B beneficiaries.

H-4 status for children expires when they reach 21 years of age. Contact Mayo Clinic’s Legal Department at VisaHelp@mayo.edu at least one year before the date your child reaches age 21 to discuss your options.

H-1B dependents who entered the U.S. in H-4 status or who changed to H-4 status from another nonimmigrant status may remain in the U.S. until the end date noted on their last I-94 card.

H-4 status is contingent upon the continued validity of the principal H-1B employee. Family members who reside in the U.S. and are seeking to change their status to H-4 or extend their H-4 status must submit an I-539 application to USCIS to extend or change their nonimmigrant status.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic will prepare and submit the H-4 filing. It is the responsibility of the H-1B worker to notify Mayo Clinic’s Legal Department of all dependents who may require an H-4 filing. 

If the dependent(s) are abroad, no prior filing is required in the U.S., however they must apply for an H-4 visa stamp with the documents of the principal H-1B employee to be able to enter the U.S. They can visit the website for the embassy or consulate for information about applying for the H-4 visa stamp.

H-4 dependents traveling separately must take the original I-797 H-4 approval notice (if applicable), proof of relationship (e.g. marriage or birth certificates), and copies of the H-1B documents listed in the H-1B travel section for the principal H-1B employee.

H-4 dependents are permitted to study in the U.S.

Beginning May 26, 2015, the USCIS accepts applications for H-4 work permission in limited situations in cases where the principal H-1B employee is in the process of obtaining permanent residency. See the USCIS website for more information.