Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of H-1B visa holders are considered dependents and are eligible for H-4 status. H-4 visa holders are only eligible to stay in the United States while their H-1B spouses or parents are in the United States maintaining the terms and conditions of their H-1B visa status.

H-4 visa holders are not permitted to work in the United States and are not eligible to obtain Social Security Numbers. H-4 visa holders may apply to change their visa status to H-1B if they qualify for the specialty occupation requirement and find an employer who is willing to file a petition on their behalf.

H-4 visa holders may study in the United States, full-time or part-time, for the duration of the H-1B's period of stay.