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USA Dependent Visa for Spouse, Child and Parents

The United States of America is the most popular country among migrants. The study and work opportunities in the USA attract a large number of students and the workforce every year. As of 2019, over 2.7 million Indians are residing in the United States. The government of the USA permits the spouse and children of such Indian migrants to live with them.

Read ahead to find out more about the US visa for family members:

Dependent Visa for the USA

A United States dependent visa permits spouses and children to join a member of their family. By applying for a corresponding visa, the spouse and child can enter the United States.

Types of USA dependent visas

There are numerous types of US Dependent visas. The type of dependent visa is determined by the type of visa held by the sponsor. Among all the dependent visas, F2 Visa USA, H4 Visa USA, J2 Visa USA, and L2 Visa USA are the most common ones.

Other types of dependent visas for the USA include:

CW2 Visa E-3D visa  F-2 visa  H-4 visa J-2 visa 
K-2 visa  K-4 visa  L-2 visa  M-2 visa N-9 visa 
O-3 visa P-4 visa  R-2 visa  S-7 visa  TD visa
T-2 visa T-3 visa  T-4 visa  T-5 visa  U-2 visa 
U-3 visa  U-4 visa  U-5 visa  V-1 visa  V-2 visa 
V-3 visa   

Do I need to apply for a visa for parents to USA?

Under family-based immigration, a US citizen can bring their both dependent parents to the USA through sponsorship. Provided the sponsor must be at least 21 years of age and he/she must be either a US citizen or Green Cardholder. U.S Citizens can sponsor a visa for family members like,

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Brother or Sister

U.S Lawful Permanent residents can only sponsor for

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried Children

There are two types of family-based Immigration programs for the USA.

  • Immediate Relative - These visas are for people who have a close familial connection to a US citizen, such as a spouse, child, or parent. The number of immigrants in these categories is not limited to each fiscal year.
  • Family Preference - These visas are for certain, more distant family ties with a US citizen, as well as certain specified relationships with a Green card holder (LPR). The number of immigrants in these categories is limited each fiscal year.

Eligibility Criteria for US Dependent Visa

To qualify for an H4 visa, the candidate must fulfill one of the following requirements:

  • The candidate is the spouse of the sponsor.
  • The candidate is a child of the sponsor. The child should be unmarried and younger than 21 years.

Documents required to apply for a Family Visa for the USA:

There are certain essential documents that the family member applying for a Dependent visa should submit:

  • Original marriage certificate of the spouse to prove the marital status.
  • Birth certificate of the child.
  • A valid passport of the family members as well as the sponsor.
  • A fully completed DS-160 Form- Non-Immigrant Visa Application.
  • A colour photograph of the spouse or the child in the size 22mm*35mm. The photo must be taken within the preceding 6 months.
  • Certain supporting documents can be needed depending on the type of visa.

In case of an F2 Dependent visa:

  • A copy of Form I-20.
  • Any document that proves that the sponsor is a student.
  • A copy of the sponsor’s F1 visa.

In case of an H4 Dependent visa:

  • A copy of the sponsor’s I-797 Form.
  • A letter from the sponsor’s employer as proof of the employment status.
  • A copy of the sponsor’s H1-B visa.

In case of an L2 Dependent Visa:

  • A copy of the sponsor’s I-797 Form.
  • A letter of approval from the sponsor.
  • A copy of the sponsor’s L1 visa.

In case of a J2 Dependent Visa:

  • A copy of the sponsor’s DS-7002 Form.
  • Any document that proves that the sponsor is part of an educational or cultural program.
  • A copy of the sponsor’s J1 visa.

How to apply for a US Dependent Visa:

Follow the below steps to apply for the spouse visa for USA from India.

  • Step1: Be ready with all the required documents before you start the application process.
  • Step2: Complete filling out the Non-Immigrant Visa Application (DS-160) with correct information. It is suggested to read the guidelines before filling out the form.
  • Step3: Pay the visa application fee. Do not forget to take a copy of the fee receipt as it will be required later during the interview.
  • Step4: Book an appointment at the nearest embassy or consulate. You will be required to book two interviews, one for the biometrics submission and one for the interview.
  • Step5: Attend the visa interview with all your documents. Give genuine and valid answers to the questions asked in the interview.
  • Step6: Wait for the results. If the visa is approved, you will receive an SMS and you can pick it up from the pickup location selected by you.

How much does it cost to apply for a USA Dependent Visa?

The basic application fee would be 160 US Dollars. However, the cost of a US-dependent visa varies with the type of dependent visa that the candidate is applying for. The application fee for an H4 visa is 190 US Dollars. There can be additional costs such as a biometrics fee.

How long can the family members on a dependent visa stay in the USA?

The dependents can stay in the USA as long as their sponsor’s visa is valid. For example, F-2 and J-2 dependents are allowed to stay in the United States as long as their sponsor's F1 and J1 visas are valid. After completing their program of study, F-1 and J-1 students and their dependents are allowed to stay in the United States for up to 60 days.

What is the processing time for a US-dependent visa?

To process a US-dependent visa, the average processing time would be 2 weeks to 1 month. The spouse visa USA processing times depend on the workload at the embassy or the consulate and many other factors.

Top FAQs Asked by Indians Applying for USA Dependent Visa

Yes, an H4 visa holder can work by filing a request to work as H4 dependent spouse. The steps to file a request are:

  • Fill and submit the Form I-765 (Application for Employment authorization)
  • Submit certain evidence like – an H4 visa status, photograph, an identification document issued by the government, and a copy of the marriage certificate.
  • Wait for the results. It may take up to 3 months to know the decision.

Yes, dependents are allowed to study in the USA. F2 dependents are permitted to study part-time. F2 dependent children are permitted to attend elementary and secondary school as well as attend full-time college.

Yes, the spouse can apply for an extension on their dependent visa if the primary visa holder is applying for an extension on their visa. For an extension, the spouse is required to fill out Form I-539 at least 45 days before their visa expires.

U.S Citizens can file a petition to bring their parents to the USA permanently by sponsoring them a family visa for the elderly to the USA. Immigrants with visas like H1 cannot sponsor their parents for permanent residence; instead, they can apply for a visitor visa which can allow them to visit USA for 6 months and extend later or re-visit.

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