A dependent visa, also called an H-4 visa, can be applied for any time after your H-1B petition is approved. A dependent visa is issued to immediate family members (spouse and children under 18 years of age) of the H-1B visa holders. Students who interrupt their full-time studies for less than one year in total and remain financially dependent upon their parents during that time will still be considered “dependent children”. Of any age or marital status and financially dependent on his or her parents as a result of being either: continuously enrolled and in attendance as a full-time student in an educational institution since the age of 18; or unable to support him or herself due to a physical or mental disability qualifies for “Dependent Visa”.
Note also that parents and other family members are not considered dependents in the immigration rules for students and are also not eligible to accompany a student as a dependent.
Dependent Visa holders are not eligible to be employed and are not eligible to get a Social Security Number. However can:
- get a Drivers license
- pursue education
- open bank account(s)
- are eligible for an ITIN (Tax ID for IRS Tax purposes)
Since Dependent visa holders are not issued a social security number, an ITIN (Individual tax identification number) should be obtained before filing for joint tax returns by filing Form W-7. If it says nothing about work, this means they can work without restriction. They can work full-time or part-time and they can be self-employed or employed. If the passport says “No work” or “Work prohibited” then in these case family member cannot take work.