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H1B visa holders bring their dependents to the US on the H4 visa status. As a dependent visa, the H4 status is subject to the H1B visa status in all respects. This leaves the H4 holder in a slightly uncertain position. If they want to seek employment as an H4 holder, they need to show that the H1 visa is current and legal. Many H4 holders apply for a change of status from H4 to H1 to strengthen their prospects in the US. Transitioning from an H4 to H1B visa can be challenging, so we have compiled a comprehensive guide on the subject to help you through the process.
1. An offer of employment from an H1B employer and be selected in the H1B lottery
2. A job offer from an employer who runs a cap-exempt company such as:
3. A previous H1B lottery win, in which case you will be H1B cap-exempt.
The transition from H4 to H1 can be challenging. There is a lot of documentation involved, similar to what is required for an H1B visa petition, which has been discussed subsequently. In addition, you will also need:
Let's take a look at the checklist of documents required to apply for H-1B visas through COS while you are within the US:
Personal details, including:
Employment details, including:
Photo specification for H-1B visa:
A recent photograph of the applicant will also have to be included. It will have to meet the USCIS photo requirements, including:
If you are applying for H1B from outside the US border, you will require the following:
Your application process for an H4 to H1B change of status will be similar to the H1B consular application process. The main difference is that Form I-539 for extension or change of status will be used. Your sponsoring employer will be responsible for initiating and carrying forward the application process.
The employer must submit:
Also read: H1B to H4 Change of Status
Transferring status from H4 to H1 can be tough for H4 holders, but it is worth the effort if they are successful. If the H4 can show or acquire sufficient credentials and experience and find a dedicated cap-exempt H1B sponsor, they should take the plunge. If you receive an H4 to H1B change of status denied update, you may have to continue in the H4 status until you can make a stronger application and try again.
Visit TechFetch H1B to find more information on change of status from other visa to H1B visa.
**Disclaimer: H1B rules and regulations keep changing from time to time. For updated information, always refer to the USCIS official website.