H4 Visa Stamping Documents Checklist

Anil Gupta  19 Feb, 19      42  USA Work in USA - H1B, L Visa

Documents Required for H4 Visa Stamping

  1. Passport – All passports including old and expired.
  2. DS 160 form copy.
  3. US embassy Visa interview appointment confirmation copy.
  4. Marriage Certificate (Original).
  5. H1B primary spouse documents
    1. Form i797A or B (H1B approval notice) – Original is best. If not possible, then carry color copy of i797 approval. i797C is not a valid proof of approval.
    2. Form i129 (H1B application) copy – Carry color or Black and white copy of i-129.
    3. H1B LCA copy – Carry color or Black and white copy of LCA posting.
    4. Passport copy – Carry color or Black and white copy of first 2 (with photo) and last 5 pages (address details) of passport.
    5. Employment verification letterOriginal – H1B can get it from employer.
    6. Last 3 months Pay stubs/ Salary slips – Color or black and white copy.
    7. Last 3 year W2 (if any) – Color or black and white copy.
  6. Wedding Invitation Card
    Optional, but recommended. Card from both sides, if available, in original.
  7. Wedding Color Photo Album
    Optional, but highly recommended to carry to prove that real marriage took place.
  8. Birth Certificate
    In Original if H4 applicant is less than 14 years old.

Related: Documents Required for H1B Visa Stamping

Chances of H4 Visa stamping – Interview Questions

There are no issues with H4 visa stamping if your relationship with H1B primary can be proved with above mentioned documents.

The visa interview will be smooth and you may be asked details about

  1. H1B primary’s job profile.
  2. H1B employer details for verification.
  3. City and county where you live.
  4. If you are working on H4 or have ever worked.
  5. Read whatever you have written in your DS160 form as visa officer can ask questions to verify.

Is H1B to H4 stamping eligible for Dropbox?

You can check if you are eligible for Dropbox Facility using our app here.

You will need to submit the same set of documents for Dropbox facility as mentioned above.

H4 Visa stamping documents checklist
H4 Visa stamping documents checklist

H4 Spouse Name Change After Marriage

We recommend to change your last name in passport too, if you have changed it after marriage.
There is no compulsion to change last name though.

If you decide to carry on with your maiden name after marriage, your H4 visa will be stamped with your maiden name. This is fine and has no issues.

Incomplete Indian Marriage Ceremony Can Result in Permanent ban to Enter U.S.

These days, visa officers have started asking if full marriage ceremony happened or not at H4 visa interview time.

This is very serious and you should be very careful as U.S. Consulates consider partial marriage ceremony to be Fraud / Misrepresentation or Alien Smuggling.

If you just did a small marriage function and will be completing the final marriage according to Hindu marriage act 1955, in India after H4 visa stamping, you could be in trouble.
This is true even if you register your marriage under Indian law and procure a legal marriage certificate from the local government authority.

Visa office expects you to perform all the rituals as are NORMALLY expected like 7 rounds of sacred fire (7 Phere) etc. to complete the marriage. He may ask you questions to check the validity of the marriage.

US Visa officers now understand the Indian culture and can smell fraud with ease.

   Read all 42 Q & A

  1. Hi Anil,
    I have Form i797A, do i still need form I-129.

  2. Is it required to have original H4 approval document for visa interview?

    • Anil Gupta   13 Feb, 19 at 9:57 pm

      If you were in US and got the H4 extention, then it is required to carry i797 approval notice.

  3. Hi Anil,
    I need some clarity regarding following situation. I have recently converted from f1 status to H4 and i am plaining to go for my visa stamping to India.Previously we were in Atlanta now we were moving to Cincinnati as my Spouse has recently got different project but the employer is same and he is filing his lca. so my question is do i need to wait untill his lca gets approved or is it ok to travel if they submit lca application. One more thing while i am filling DS160 , do i need to concern about the location (i.e., address ), i am giving in the form. I am confused whether i have to give previous location address or the current location address.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Anil Gupta   12 Feb, 19 at 3:49 pm

      It is better that you wait to know the new address and then you can confidently fill it in DS-160.
      Legally, you can travel while LCA or your move is pending.

      • so i need to match the address in both lca and ds160? . I am at my spouse relatives place so i gave that address which is 20 miles far my spouse location that he mentioned in lca. is that ok or do i need to fill my ds160 again.

        • Anil Gupta   12 Feb, 19 at 6:34 pm

          You are talking about work address or residence address that you gave in DS-160?

          The idea is to keep all information real and true to the best of your knowledge. Remember, whatever information you give in DS-160 gets recorded and can be used to validate what you say in your interview.

          Addresses are also used for identity verification to know if you are same person that you claim you are.

          • Thanks a lot for your response. I am talking about the residence address. Intially we temporarily stayed at our relatives I filled my DS-160 at that point of time, as i am not aware of all these complications at that point of time , few weeks later me moved to new address and then he filed his lca with the new residence address.

            • That’s fine. You can stay wherever you want.
              I am just saying that fill the current address as whatever you have so that it should match if asked in the interview.

              With new LCA being filed, you can say that you are planning to move to new address soon.
              Fill the DS-160 address whatever current address you have. Don’t worry.

            • Thanks you Anil for your help.

  4. Vijay Dahiya   5 Feb, 19 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Anil,

    Thanks for the information. I have few queries here:
    My wife got her post doc in texas tech university & employer already sent hard copy for H1B approval notice to India. This is her first opportunity outside India.
    Me & our child will also travel with her on H4. Appointment is on 14 Feb in VAC & 21st Feb in US consulate. We all have clear records in all id proofs but the birth certificate of our 8 yrs old child doesn’t have correct details (Surname incorrect in father & mother’s name and child name is also in ALIAS).
    Is it necessary to show birth certificate when we have pasport, aadhaar card etc for H4 visa stamping.
    Also, I have not resigned from my current job yet. Will they raise questions on it? Do we have to produce bank statement to show enough funds?
    If yes then how much is requred ?
    Kindly revert asap

    • Anil Gupta   9 Feb, 19 at 10:27 am

      Normally (in 90% cases), visa officer does not ask to show any of the documents except the passport and DS160.
      We recommend carrying these documents as they may ask for them.

      In case of your kid, you should have got the birth certificate corrected.
      The proof that the kid is yours and you are NOT trying to smuggle kid has to be given by you. US embassy takes these cases seriously if you can’t prove the legitimacy of documents.

      I suggest to not take any chance and get a new birth certificate before interview if you can.

      H4 Job in India – You do not need to resign from your job before interview. You can do it whenever you want after you have got the visa. If visa officer asks question about you working in USA, then your answer should be ‘NO’ as H4s are not allowed to work unless they have H4-EAD.

      Bank Balance – There is NO requirement to show bank balance for H1B and H4 visa as H1B is employment based and it is understood that you will earn enough money in USA to survive. Don’t worry about it.

      • Vijay Dahiya   9 Feb, 19 at 2:09 pm

        Thanks Anil for the prompt reply.
        The issue with birth certificate is that middle name is missing in father name section, mother name has a diffrent surname as mentioned in passport and major is child name which have our child name but it’s written like ABC alias XYZ (where XYZ is the correct name).
        We do have aadhaar n passport of our child with correct details matching with our passport n aadhaar.
        Are they sufficient. ?
        Awaiting revert.

        • Well, there is a reason why they ONLY accept birth certificate even when you have passport and other proofs. I don’t think aadhar is acceptable as a replacement of Birth Certificate at this time.

          From the information you have shared now, it looks like Birth certificate is fine.
          Earlier, you mentioned that Birth certificate has wrong names.

          Remember that you will need this Birth certificate for many more applications that you will file while you are in USA.
          So, if you want to get any corrections done, now is the time to get it done.

          • Vijay Dahiya   10 Feb, 19 at 12:25 pm

            Thanks Anil. I think there is no process to get correction in child name because we have been through the same.
            Let me give you a better idea about the issue.

            Our child was born & we visited MCD office, rajouri garden with the certificate given by hospital within 1st week of his birth.
            They issued birth certificate with blank name & asked us that we can update name in next 30 days and take the certificate with name again.
            We decided the name (ABC) & fill the form again after a week but unfortunately we have to change his name due to family pressure.
            We got busy with the kid & did not reported this to MCD. After 3 years when he was supposed to be admitted in play school, we faced the problem because everybody was asking for certificate with name printed on it but we did not have the same.
            We visited MCD office again to get the certificate with name but it had ABC printed. For which we asked to change & provided proofs as well. They clearly denied that there is no process to change the child name in birth certificate but best they can do is that they will add child name as ABC ALIAS XYZ. We agreed & got the certificate printed.

            Schools accepted the certificate & we were relieved. Now, we stuck in this situation.
            Have you came across this kind of situation earlier? By any chance, can you suggest the way forward ?
            We don’t want any complication just because of 1 document.
            Appreciate you help.

            • Anil Gupta   11 Feb, 19 at 8:04 am

              As i already said, I do not see any problem with your child’s birth certificate in my last reply.

              If you think there are mismatches anywhere, you should have documents to prove/clarify those mismatches.

            • Vijay Dahiya   11 Feb, 19 at 8:12 am

              Thanks Anil for the help.
              Fingers crossed 🙂

            • All the best. Let me know if you need more information.

  5. Hi Anil,

    thanks for this article

    I am on H1B and got married last month. I am back in US now and my wife will apply for H4.

    Does I-864 or I-134 also needs to be applied ? or I-797 copy is sufficient.

    • Anil Gupta   9 Feb, 19 at 10:01 am

      No need for Affidavit of support. Only H1B i797 is enough for H4 stamping.

  6. sujith kumar Matharasi   28 Jan, 19 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Anil,
    My wife was in F1 until last year and as her OPT got denied we applied for her H-4 last May and looks like its currently taking 15-18 months, currently there is an emergency and she has to go to India. So, can she cancel the current processing here and go get a visa stamping in India? Also, we are from hyderabad but there are currently no dates available in Hyderabad so she is planning to go to India is that okay?

    Thanks a lot for your time

    • Anil Gupta   9 Feb, 19 at 10:07 am

      1. The F1 to H4 COS application will be automatically abandoned by USCIS once your wife leaves USA. If you want, you can explicitly send an H4 application withdrawal letter too to USCIS:
      2. The faster way to get H4 at this time is to go out of US and then apply at US embassy.
      How are you planning to get the H4 stamping if there are no dates available?

      • sujith kumar Matharasi   9 Feb, 19 at 10:11 am

        Yeah we are okay with her application getting cancelled once she crosses the country as we will apply for change of status in India . Yes, there are no dates available in Hyderabad but she is planning to go to Chennai instead.That would be okay right ?

        Also,do we need to inform the embassy that we are leaving and we should cancel her change of status or will they do it automatically ?

        Thanks a lot for your time.

  7. anand satya   14 Jan, 19 at 9:47 am

    Hey Anil,

    What is H1B LCA?

    H1B LCA copy – Carry color or Black and white copy of LCA posting.

    Where can we generally get or find that?

    • LCA is labor conditional application and it is with your employer.
      LCA is posted at your US work location before filing H1B application.

      Ask your employer to give a copy to you.

      • anand satya   9 Feb, 19 at 10:09 am

        I have one more question.
        When my wife got H1B and LCA is showing one role and now she is promoted and there is a different LCA form for this role.
        Which one should I take?

        • Anil Gupta   9 Feb, 19 at 10:12 am

          The most recent H1B approval and its LCA should be used.

          • anand satya   9 Feb, 19 at 10:43 am

            Thanks Anil 🙂

            • anand satya   10 Feb, 19 at 12:27 pm

              Hey Anil,

              I have another H4 question.
              My L1B got denied and my new H1B is still pending (got selected in lottery and waiting for RFE decision)
              I am planning on converting to H4, come back and apply H4 EAD.
              My wife has H1B and she is applying for I140 premium now.

              Now Is it mandatory to go to India to attend H4 interview?
              Can I go to Canada to do that?

            • Anil Gupta   11 Feb, 19 at 8:13 am

              You can go to Canada but it is better to go to home country.

  8. Hi Anil,

    Do you have checkist for H1 B re-stamping as well. I found out that I am not eligible for visa stamping. My US visa expired in Sept 2017.

    • Anil Gupta   5 Dec, 18 at 7:10 am

      I will try to create a list for H1B stamping as week. But, I don’t have one right now.

      I think you mean you are not eligible for Dropbox.

      • Yea unfortunately I am not eligible for Dropbox. Also, if you can include with Visa Restamping documents along with first time H1 stamping.