H4 Visa Requirements and Checklist for Spouse
JAN 25 2009
If you are a regular visitor to my blog then you might be knowing I got married last month and came back to US leaving my wife back in India. I never knew about my wife before visiting India for a yearly vacation, the reason being I didn’t take the needed documents for processing my wife’s H4 visa. I had to come back for documents that my wife needed to submit to the officer in American Embassy for her H4 visa. After going to various websites I made a checklist of things that I needed to send my wife for getting one H4 visa.
Here are the documents that anyone in India will need to submit while applying for H4 visa
- You need to deposit the application fees at HDFC Bank, for details on fees and bank visit www.vfs-usa.co.in. You need to keep the original receipt with you and carry it along with all the docs to the embassy.
- You need to complete non-immigration visa application form DS-156. This will be done online after the required funds being deposited with HDFC Bank towards the Visa fees.
- You also need to complete Form DS-157 online, be attentive while filling this form. You can save these forms and review it later before you click the submit button. This process can be saved for 7 days.
- You will get an online appointment application letter at the end, don't forget to carry a hard copy of this letter.
- You need to carry one photograph: 2 and 2 inches square (50 mm square). If you are going to Kolkata American Consulate, then visit Bombay Studio to get
a perfect picture for your visa. This Studio is next to the embassy office so you just need to reach 1 hour early to pick your snap with yourself. US consulates are very strict on photograph so better you carry the one with their guideline else you will have to visit them once more.
- An original marriage certificate is needed, there are two ways in India to get a marriage certificate, they are marriage registration, registered marriage.
A "registered marriage" is applied upfront and date is scheduled after 30 days from your application date, this is normally for couples those are not married and trying
to get married. Marriage registrations is a process where you can get a certificate in a day, this is for a couple who already got married with the social act and want to register their marriage with the government.
- A Wedding photo album with clear close-up snaps with all the family members taken separately and some snaps from the marriage puja.
- Both side marriage invitation cards.
- Photocopy of H1B holder’s passport, take copies of the pages that are not blank, doesn’t need to copy the whole book.
- A copy of approved petition I797 / form I-129 of H1B Visa holder
- H1B holder’s employment verification letter is also needed. Get one from the current employer.
- If a current H1B holder is already working in the US, then need to produce 2 recent pay stubs.
Here are few expected questions that an interviewer might ask during the interview
What type/kind of visa are you applying for?
- I am applying for H4 visa.
When did your husband get his stamping?
- My husband got his stamping in 2006 Oct.
Why do you need a visa to the USA?
- I want to live with my husband.
If you didn’t go for the H4 interview with your spouses’ H1B visa appt: Why did you not come with your husband for the interview?
- He is been working in the US for last 3 years and I just got married the last dec.
If going after the spouse has left to the USA: Why did you not leave with your spouse or why are you coming today for visa when you got married on so and so date?
- He had very few days towards his vacation after the marriage which was not sufficient to process my visa. He needed to go to the USA to get me few of the documents as he wasn’t caring that here.
Who filed the visa application and where did you file it?
- I filed the application with help of my husband. I filed it online.
Who made the interview appointment?
- I made the appointment.
How did you receive the documents?
- Downloaded few docs from the website and received rest by email from my spouse.
When did you get married or what is your date of marriage?
- Dec 12th, 2008
Did you have an arranged or love marriage?
- I had an arranged marriage.
When did you meet your spouse for the first time?
- In his last trip to India, Nov 24th, 2008.
How did you meet your spouse?
- At my home when he came to visit me.
Who arranged this marriage or how did you get this proposal?
- My parents arranged this marriage.
Where did you get married?
- I got married in my hometown.
Is your marriage registered?
- Yes, sir/mam.
Can I see some wedding photographs?
- Absolutely, here are some of the snaps that I got printed.
Where are you staying currently?
- With my in-laws.
Who are you staying with?
- With my husband’s parents.
Where will you stay in the USA?
- Remember the address of the H1B holder’s address.
Who will bear the expenses while you are in USA or who will financially support you in the US?
- My husband, San.
Who will pay for your trip to the US?
- My Husband, San.
Do any of your relatives/friends live in the USA?
- No sir/mam.
What is your spouse’s date of birth?
- Jul 4th, 1978.
Which university did your spouse graduate from?
- Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.
What is your spouse’s highest degree?
- Masters in Computer Engineering.
Which company does your spouse work for?
Who is sponsoring in your husband’s H1B?
- Gaebler Ventures LLC
Where is his employer located?
Where are his clients located?
- All over the World (US, Canada, Europe, China, India)
What kind of work does your spouse do at the USA Company?
- He is a senior programmer.
How long has your spouse been in the USA?
- It’s more than 5 years from now.
How long has your spouse been working for the sponsoring company?
- More than 3 years.
What will you do after your visa is completed/expired?
- I will come back to India.
How much he is earning or what is the pay of your spouse or what is the annual income of your spouse?
- ##,###.00 USD per Annum.
Can I see some pay stubs from your spouse’s paycheck?
- Yes, sure sir/mam.
Can I have a look at your spouse’s bank statements?
- Here you go, sir/mam.
Have your spouse applied for a green card?
- Not yet.
Does your husband have any relatives in the US?
- No Sir/Mam.
What is your husband’s age?
- 30 years old.
What is your age?
- I am 22 years old.
Are you traveling alone?
- Yes sir.
Have you ever called your husband?
- Many times.
What is his number?
When did your husband call the last time?
- Right before coming for the interview.
How many times does he call?
- 2-3 times a day.
What is your mother-in-law’s name?
- Santilata Nayak
What is your father-in-law’s name?
- Rajendra Nayak
What are his timings at his current job?
- 9AM to 5PM
What is your full maiden name?
- Pragyan Suravi
What is your husband’s full name?
- San Nayak
What is your name?
How many members were present for your marriage?
- My side around 1000 and his side around 300-400.
Are you wearing the same wedding necklace?
- Yes sir, rests are kept in the locker.
Here are some of the questions that were asked to my wife during the interview
1. Is it a love or arranged marriage?
2. What company your husband is working for?
3. Where is your husband living in the US?
4. Show the pictures of him with you from the marriage time.
5. How many in-laws, are they married, where are they, are they in US, show their snaps, what they wear?
6. Show some snaps with your father and mother-in-law.
- Check you have all the documents before starting your journey.
- Answer all questions slowly and clearly during the interview.
- Check your passport for correct name, date of birth, type of visa, validity date, etc after receiving a visa.
marites toledo keegan: my husband is amirican,what document i prefer to the embassy…
we marry already…
Arpita Dey Says: August 29th, 2009 at 11:34 am
I’m getting married in November, 2009. My fiance is working in the US. He is there since 4 years. I am residing in Gujarat, while my fiance’s family resides in Maharashtra. I am planning to get a social marriage conducted on 29th Nov and get a marriage registration done immediately the next day itself. My question is, is this certificate valid for my H4 Visa application or is court marriage a must?
I am confused simply because lots of people are giving us different opinions.
Do post your suggestions. It would help me a great deal in planning my transit to the US.
Thank a lot.
@Arpita You can get the certificate from the municipality office and that is called marriage registration, that means you are already married and just registering that with government of India. That is a valid one and i did the same for my marriage certificate. It works.
Anoop Says: September 9th, 2009 at 8:41 AM
I’m getting married in Jan,2010. I will get around 4 weeks leave. Our plan is to fly back together after marriage. For this her interview should be scheduled within 3-4 days after marriage. Can I apply for VISA before marriage and go to the interview with the necessary documents? I can arrange to get the marriage certificate the next day itself. Let me know your thoughts.
@Anoop, I am confused. you said “Can I apply for VISA before marriage?”. Is that you mean if you can schedule a date before your marriage? You can’t schedule a date before your social marriage because you will be asked to show the mariage pictures. You can schedule a date anyday when you have the above documents to show the authority and prove them that you people are married, practically that will be after your social marriage. You can always schedule her interview date before 2-3 weeks of the expected date of the interview. Good Luck!!!!
Gaurav 2009/09/30 at 5:53 PM
im getting married Nov 23rd 2009. Want to bring my wife with me to US on H4 visa.
Q1. Is this a good time (i.e. today Sep 30 2009) for me to book a timeslot for the interview for sometime around Nov 25 or Nov 26th?
Q2. Can I accompany my wife in the interview?
Q3. Do I need to mention anywhere that I will be accompanying her during the interview?
Thanks much for your help.
@Gaurav, Good luck for your marriage. US authorities don’t reject or select a visa based on time so any time will be good to book a date. The only thing you should remember that you need to have the above mentioned documents while approaching the interviewer. I think you can get the certificate in the meantime so go ahead and book a date, you can always reschedule it. I think you can’t accompany your wife, if you need to renew your visa then you both can schedule at the same time and go for it. I am not very sure on accompanying so better clarify it from experts. If you see any option where you can go for it with her then I am very sure you have to mention it somewhere before the interview.
Sriharsha 2009/10/01 at 2:21 PM
Nice post and thanks for helping people like me
I am planning to get married in jan 2010 and planning to bring my wife with me. my question is i am on H1 and had valid visa until Sep 2010, recently i changed my company and got my visa approval but i did not have stamping with the new approval. so is it ok if my wife carry my latest approval and go for the stamping or do i need to get the stamping done before she go the stamping. please advice. can i receive the reply to my email id
Thanks in advance
@Sriharsha, Wish you a happy married life. I suggest you both go at the same time for the visa stamping. I just said that to Gaurav above.
@Priya (Oct 24th) – Yes, you can apply individually. My wife applied alone and I was in the US that time. You need all the documents, not your husband at the interview. After you receive the H4 visa it is upto you to decide the date of journey, no hard rules.
@Priya (Nov 11th) – 1. If you go to local municipality office with all your documents after the marriage then you should get that in a day, it will be handy. At least I got that in a day in Orissa. 2. It depends, normally you will get it in 5-7 days but I will advise you not to buy your ticket before you have your passport with visa on it. Rather just book a ticket and carry the ternary to the consulate.
@Revant – Both go on the same date and slot. I think you need to go to the site or ask some experts on this but I know both can go together for the interview as my friends did in the past that I know at least.
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