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1. What is the US-dependent visa?

A U.S dependent visa allows foreigners to legally stay in the U.S, which allows spouse, children, and family members; certain restrictions apply depending upon the type of dependent visa types

2. Types of US dependent visas:

F-1 visa – student visa

  • F-2 visa for dependent of F-1 visa holders

J-1 visa – Exchange visitor visa

  • J-2 visa for dependents of J-1 visa holder’s

H visas

  • H-4 visa for dependent H visa holders

L-1 visa – foreign employees of US corporations

  • L-2 visa for dependents of L-1 visa holder’s

3. Eligibility for U.S dependent visa

  • As per the U.S immigration law, a spouse is legally married, whether the same or opposite gender.
  • Recently U.S Supreme court has made a decision on same-gender spouses eligible for U.S immigration benefits as dependents.
  • Some of U.S federal agencies have not issued guidance for their employees on this issue.
  • As per the U.S immigration law, your children are an unmarried person under 21 years of age.
  • Children biological born, you were married to the child’s parent, a child adopted by you, for these certain requirements may apply
  • If you are married to a United States citizen, you can be their dependent.

4. How to apply for a dependent visa in the USA:

The US visa issued by the United States of Citizen and Immigration Services is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

  • You can send an application to a nearby immigration center or;
  • You can visit the nearby immigration center if you are in the U.S.

If you have a valid visa currently, you can apply for an adjustment instead of applying for a new visa.

If you are outside of the U S Please visit nearby consulate centers or visit the official USCIS website to find out nearby immigration centers. You can mail your application if you are in the U.S.

There are different types of dependent visa for the USA, check the status before you apply for a dependent visa, that the person you are dependent qualify or not.

F2 dependents visa of F1 visa holders

Eligibility:

You must meet the below details.

  • Spouse of an approves F1 visa holder.
  • Unmarried children under 21years of age approved F1 visa holders.
  • Meet the financial requirements to support your family

How to apply:

  • Get a Form I-20(details of the purpose of visa), F1 visa holder get this by SEVP (student and exchange visitor program) institution, they release Form I-20.
  • Fill Form DS-160 online (electronic application form for U.S non-immigrant visa).
  • In DS-160 from some security-related questions, the form contains your personal information, contact details, passport and travel information, previous trips, family information, and education and work experience questions.

Visa fees:

  • F2 visa application fee INR 11490.37
  • You must pay the exact amount to process the application, after completion of payment; you will receive a payment receipt, keep it for later.
  • There are some other fees (visa issuance/reciprocity fee) for applying an F1 visa depending upon the country or U.S embassy;
  • F1 visa holder also responsible for paying the SEVIS I-901 fee, the F2 visa applicant is free from this fee.

Visa interview:

  • F2 and F1 visa applicants can schedule an interview at the same or separates (recommended procedure);
  • If you are applying separately, you can schedule your own visa interview, after the scheduled visa interview, you will get an interview appointment letter; In addition, you will show it to the officials at the U.S embassy.

Documents:

When you are going to attend a visa interview, you need to gather all the required documents.

Here the required documents for F2 visa application:

  • Current and previous passports
  • Photocopies of passport pages
  • Original birth certificate
  • DS-160 confirmation form
  • Proof of financial status such as bank statements, tax records, employment payslips etc.
  • The USA visa photograph must be taken the last 6 months
  • Interview appointment letter
  • Receipts of paid fees
  • Original form I-20 and a Xerox
  • A Xerox copy of F1 visa holder's I-20 form
  • A copy of the F1 visa holder's passport and visa
  • Original marriage certificate if you are the spouse of an F1 visa holder
    • Original marriage proof’s
      • Wedding album
      • Wedding guest list
      • Wedding spending receipts
  • If you are married at the registrar office, submit the certificate and photos of the wedding.

The processing time for F2 visa will take a few days or weeks, it depends upon U.S embassies, and they will process your visa application after successful completion of your interview

J2 dependents visa for J1 visa holders:

Eligibility:

You must meet the below details.

  • Spouse of an approved J1 visa holder;
  • Unmarried children under 21years age of approved J1 visa holder

J2 visa application:

J1 and J2 both applications are similar, the J1 visa holder allows dependent, and they issue a separate DS-2020 Form.

J2 application form procedure:

  • Apply online DS-160 form
  • Pay the visa application fee INR 11490.37
  • Schedule a visa interview and get a confirmation letter

Submit these documents:

  • USA visa photograph
  • Birth certificates
  • Collect all SEVIS pages and copies of the DS-2020 form
  • Submit DS-7002 form if the J1 visa holder is a trainee or intern
  • Proof of financial status which shows enough funds
  • Marriage certificate if you are married J1 visa holder
    • Wedding album
    • Wedding guest list
  • If you are married at the registrar office, submit the certificate and photos of the wedding.
  • For getting the J2 visa you must have health insurance;
  • If the visa holder does not submit valid health insurance coverage for J2 dependents, they have to enroll separately.

The processing time for the J2 visa one month depends upon U.S embassies, they will process your visa application after the successful completion of your application.

Validity: J2 visa has two years validity, the J2 visa directly linked to the J1 visa holder that means the validity of the J2 visa same as a J1 visa holder.

  • You can also apply for an extension, if approved you will get a new DS-2020 form.

Waiver visa: If the J1 visa holder applies for a waiver visa based on reasons, their dependent no need to file for waiver too.

  • The J2 waiver visa linked to the J1 visa holder, U.S government grants permission as a waiver to J1 it automatically applies to their dependent

You may file a J2 waiver visa in these situations:

  • If the J1 visa holder has died, you can submit a valid certificate
  • If you divorce the J1 visa holder, you need to submit valid divorce documents.
  • If you are a child of a J1 visa holder and entering 21 years, you need to provide a valid birth certificate.

In addition, if J1 visa person gets a green card, their dependent also eligible too, or you can apply separately if want to need based on family or employment reasons

J2 EAD (employment authorization document):

  • For J2 visa holders allowed to seek employment in the U.S, you can get EAD when you arrived in the U.S.
  • You can apply after 3 to 4 months of arriving in the U.S because you need to submit proof of financial resources to the U.S government to cover your expenses in the first few months in the U.S.
  • If you apply before that, they raise doubts about your financial status.

Documents to apply for an EAD:

  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • Copies of J1 visa holders DS-2020 forms, Form I-94
  • Copies of passport
  • Photographs
  • Your marriage certificate
  • Statements of Financial status of J1, personally meet with enough financial resources to support their dependent
  • If you already have employment, submit a confirmation letter from your employer.
  • You can apply for request your EAD to valid the end of your stay in the U.S by mention the date of expiration available in your DS-2020 form in the EAD statement.

After granting the EAD, you can start in part or full-time work in the U.S, before your DS-2020 expiration date, you apply for extensions, and also you get a social security number (SSN) and you need to file taxes as per U.S laws.

H4 dependents visa

Eligibility:

You must meet the below details.

  • Spouse of an approved U.S works visa holder
    • H-1B visa
    • H-1B1 visa
    • H-2A visa
    • H-2B visa
    • H-3 visa
  • Children under 21years of age of the approved H type visa holders, child of H type visa holders over 21 years age cannot allow applying for the H4 visa.

How to apply for H4 visa:

  • Fill form DS-160 online, you will get a DS-160 barcode. You need to save the barcode confirmation page and print it, take it with you while attending the interview.
  • Application fee for H4 visa INR 13644.81, fees same as other H type visas, after paying the fee to save the receipt.

Attend the visa interview:

  • After filing the DS-160 form, schedule a visa interview with the U.S embassy officials.
  • When you schedule an appointment for your interview, you will get a confirmation letter, keep it for later

Documents:

  • DS-160 application form
  • Passport with one blank page
  • USA photographs
  • Fee receipts
  • Visa and passport Copies of sponsor H type visa holder
  • Copies of your spouse/parent's passports and I-129 form, I-797 form, and the labor certification application (LCA)
  • Copies of your spouse/parent's U.S employment letter and previous work experience
  • Original birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
    • Wedding album
    • Wedding guest list

If you are married at the registrar office, submit the certificate and photos of the wedding.

Processing time for H4 visa:

  • The processing time for an H4 visa may vary from country to country, and depends upon H type visa holder.
  • If your spouse is applying for an H-2A visa you may apply together, this will take some time to process.
  • They will process your visa application after the successful completion of your application.

Get a green card on an H4 visa: Green card officially known as Lawful Permanent Residents (“LPR”).

  • Yes, it is possible to get a green card on an H4 visa, but it will take years to approve your green card.
  • Better to change your status H4 to H-1B visa and then you can easily apply for a green card.
  • It might be faster when compared to other H type’s visas.

Get a driver’s license on the H4 visa:

  • It is possible to get a driver’s license on an H4 visa, if you qualified in the U.S driver’s tests, they will approve the right to drive.

You can also get H4 EAD to work in the U.S if you pay fees and required documents.

L-2 dependent visa:

Eligibility: to eligible for an L-2 visa, only a few conditions

  • Must be a spouse or unmarried children under 21years age of the L-1 visa holder
  • U.S government recognizes only one spouse, only one spouse applies for an L-2 visa.
  • Same-gender partner also eligible

How to apply for an L-2 visa: this visa application is the same all dependent visas like H-4 visa.

  • Fill the form DS-160 online, you will get a confirmation page and print it; take with you while attending the interview.
  • Application fee of L-2 visa INR 11490.37, you need to pay other fees depending upon your home country
  • Keep all fees receipts as proof.

Attend the visa interview:

  • When you are going to you schedule an appointment for your visa interview.
  • After scheduling an interview you will get a confirmation letter, keep it for later.

Documents:

  • DS-160 application form
  • Appointment confirmation letter
  • Valid Passport more than six months from the expire date with one blank page
  • USA photographs
  • Fee receipts
  • Visa and passport Copies of sponsor L-1 visa holder
  • Copies of L-1 visa Form I-129 and Form I-797
  • Job description letter of L-1 visa holder from the employer, and previous employers
  • If the L-1 visa holder already in the U.S, submit Payslips
  • Original birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • For spouses submit genuine marriage proofs
    • Wedding album
    • Wedding guest list
    • Wedding invitation

If you are married at the registrar office, submit the certificate and photos of the wedding.

Processing time for L2 visa:

  • They will process your visa application after the successful completion of your application
  • After processing your visa it will take 15 days to one month, depending upon the workload of embassies.

Get a green card on the L-2 visa:

  • Yes, it is possible to get a green card on an L-2 visa
  • If the L-1 visa holder is eligible for a green card, then you too;
  • If L-2 dependents apply for an employment-based green card and must submit required documents
  • L-1 visa holder as green cards their family also in green card category.

You can also get L-2 EAD to work in the U.S if you pay fees and required documents.

5. Work authorization or study with a dependent visa

  • Depend upon the dependent visa type you obtain, dependent U.S citizen can able to work or study, if you have an H4 visa.
  • For J2 and F2 visas not able to work or enroll a full-time student. If you want to enroll as a full-time student, you have to apply for an F1 visa.

6. When you can apply for a dependent visa:

You will need to apply for a visa several months before your trip to the US.

  • If you are already in the US, you can start the application process as soon as possible before your visa status changes.
  • Application processing time may vary from one center to another center according to visa types, some visas take longer to proceed, by submitting all required documents you can speed up your visa
  • If you are applying for a K3 visa, submit your visa application a few months before your wedding.
  • If you are applying for any other type of dependent visas, you can able to apply along with the main application
  • If your spouse applying for any other visas like F1, J1 or H-1B visa

7. How much does a U.S spouse visa cost?

This visa technically called a K-3 visa; K-3 visa allows spouses from another country to move to the U.S.

There are many different types of spousal visas, depend upon the situation of the couple.

K3 visa fees:

  • Filing a petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130
  • Filing form I-129F
  • Form DS-160 processing fee
  • Medical examination fee
  • Other fees such as shipping, documents and translating

8. Which type of US visa is easy to get?

B-1 visa, Easiest form of US visa to get, it is a nonimmigrant US visa that allows visitors for business purposes

B-1 visa holders can involve in the following activities:

  • Discuss contracts.
  • Consult with business associates in the U.S.
  • Settle estates.
  • Attend conferences, educational, business, professional events.