Q1: Can I convert my H4 visa to H1? If yes, what is the process?

A: Yes, any H4 visa holder may switch to another type of Visa, like Student visa F1 or working Visa H1 while in U.S. However, you must qualify and fulfill the requirements for the particular visa category.


Q2: Can the H4 visa holder work in U.S.?

A: No. H4 visa holders are not permitted to work in U.S. Remember that as a spouse you will accompany a legally employed person in the United States on a dependent visa. You should not try to seek employment in the United States on the H4 visa.

Q3: What to do If I want to work while on H4 visa?

A: In order to work in U.S. you must have a working visa status like H1B. Learn more about H1 visa qualification.

Q4: Who Qualifies for H4 visa?

A: A spouse and children (age under 21) of H1 visa holder's can qualify for H4 visa.

Q5: What is the process of getting the H4 visa? How do I need to file a petition?

A: The process is simple and there is no need to file a petition. You can directly apply for the H4 visa at the US Consulate in your home country. Read more about the H4 visa application requirements.

Q6: Can I study in U.S. while on H1/H4 visa?

A: Yes, you can study on the H1/H4 visa. Read more about Education for H4 Visa Holders.

Q7: What if the US consulate holds my case under Section 221(g)?

A: If your visa was not issued under Section 221(g) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act, it means that your case requires further administrative action. It is not refusal per se. It only means that it is on hold.
Here is what happens

  • The consular officer will return your passport.
  • You may return to the Consulate on any working day with the required additional documents.
  • Please follow the instructions that were given in refusal document 221g.
  • The application fee paid to schedule the initial interview remains valid for the subsequent interview up to one year from date of payment.

See a sample Form 221g.

Q8: Can I volunteer on the H4 visa?

A: Absolutely. You are allowed to volunteer on the H4 visa. However, there is a catch. If you volunteer for a job for free, which is otherwise a paid opportunity, it will amount to an illegal activity. Typically, H4 visa holders volunteer with religious and social organizations. There are many organizations that require volunteers for their projects.
A threshold question is whether your volunteering qualifies for a paid job. If it does, refrain from doing it. If it does not, you should probably say yes to it.