H-1B visa an employment-based visa through which a foreigner skilled worker can do work in the US. Before applying for the visa the skilled worker must ensure it first that he has a job offer from the US employer. The skilled worker on H-1B visa is allowed to come to the US with his family-spouse or children(less than 21 years of age). The family of the worker gets H-4 visa through which they can stay and study but can’t work in the US. So now the question is- Can you convert H-4 visa to H-1B visa? If your spouse wants to work in the US.
H-4 to H-1B Visa Change of Status
H-4 visa are dependent on the H-1B workers which doesn’t allow them to work. Speculation are there of ruling H-4 visa EAD rule which can allow spouses to work in the US. But nothing is certain over that. Meanwhile you can work on the procedure of changing H-4 status to H-1. The procedure of conversion to H-4 visa to H-1B visa is quite lengthy and involves series of steps. Let’s get into the depth of the procedure-
Who Can Convert H-4 to H-1 Visa Status
Not all H-4 visa holders are eligible for the change to H-1b visa. There is some eligibility criterion, visa holders fulfilling that criterion only can apply for the change. Following are different eligibility criterion, you are eligible only if-
• H4 visa holder are exempt from H-1B cap who had previously applied for H1B and got selected in the H1B lottery.
• H4 visa holder who had to apply for a job under an employer who is exempt from the H-1B cap, the job such as-
o A non-profit institution of higher education
o A non-profit entity related or affiliated to an institution of higher education
o A non-profit organization or a governmental research organization
• H4 visa holder has applied for the job under an H1B petitioning employer and got selected in the H1B visa lottery.
Required Documents for H-4 to H-1B Change of Status
For the conversion procedure from H-4 to H-1B visa an applicant has to submit documents relating H-1b petition and along with that must submit the following documents-
• An application to extend or change non-immigrants status that is Form I-539.
• Supporting documents such as employment offer, support letter, and labor condition approval, (LCA)
Applying for H-1B from H-4 Visa Status
As long as all H1B visa requirements are met by the H4 visa holder, he or she can convert their status from H4 to H1B visa. That would be just icing on the cake if the H4 visa holder has sponsoring H1B employer. With any ado, he or she must H1B petition.
The H-1B sponsoring employer will need to submit the following along with Form I-129.
• He must submit an application regarding Evidence of labor condition certified by U.S. Department of Labor
• He must submit an application showing that given employment qualifies as a specialty occupation.
• He has to submit all the evidence showing the applicant has skills to perform that particular job- such as applicant’s degree, certificates relating to his degree, anything available regarding that.
• A copy of the required license or official permission to practice the occupation in the intended state of employment.
The whole of the process involves series of step and each step needs particular application. While the process is similar to applying for -1B visa from outside the US, except that of Form I-539, that is required to change an applicant’s non-immigrant status.