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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 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.