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Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may join you in the US as your dependents in H-4 status. Individuals in H-4 status may study, but they are not eligible for employment authorization. If your dependents are currently abroad, they can apply for an H-4 visa on the basis of your H-1B Approval Notice and proof of their relationship to you. If they are currently in the US in a different immigration status, a change of immigration status will need to be filed on their behalf. This is done by filing a Form I-539 with USCIS.

GSS will prepare the I-539 for dependents if it is filed at the same time as the employee’s H-1B petition. The filing fee for Form I-539 is $370. This fee must be paid by the employee. H-4 change of status or extension applications that are not filed concurrently with the employee’s H-1B petition will not be prepared by GSS. The dependent will need to file on their own or seek assistance of outside counsel.