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Dependents in the U.S.

For immigration purposes, dependents are the spouse or children of the applicant, who are in the US and who obtained their visa status in the US through their relationship to the applicant.  

Dependent immigration statuses include: H-4, O-3, F-2, J-2, TD.

If the applicant has dependents in the US, in any of these dependent immigration statuses, an application must be filed to change or extend the status of the dependents along with the main application for the employee.

If submitting a dependent application along with the H-1B or O-1 beneficiary's petition, each dependent must submit this signed affidavit to Bechtel with their application.

A dependent application includes:

  1. A completed form I-539 for the first dependent and completed form(s) I-539A for each additional dependent:  Download the form and USCIS instructions. See Bechtel International Center instructions to fill out form I-539.  I-539A instructions for each additional dependent can be found here.  
  2. Separate checks payable to US Department of Homeland Security.  See current fees here.  These fees can be paid by the beneficiary or the department.
  3. Color copies of the following documents for each dependent:
    1. Passport validity page plus all US visa stamps
    2. I-94 arrival-departure record: white card stapled in the passport upon entry to US prior to April 30, 2013 (front and back) or print out of electronic I-94 record
    3. All previously issued US immigration documents: I-20 forms, I-797 H-4 approval notices, DS-2019 forms if the dependent was ever in J status
    4. Evidence of each applicant's relationship to the H-1: birth certificate of the dependent children or marriage certificate and proof of termination of any prior marriages
  4. Color copies of the following documents of the H-1B or O-1 beneficiary:
    1. I-94 arrival-departure record: white card stapled in the passport upon entry to US prior to April 30, 2013 (front and back) or print out of electronic I-94 record
    2. Passport validity page
    3. Most current H-1B/O-1 visa stamp (if applicable)
    4. Most current I-797 approval notice (if applicable)
    5. Last 3 months of pay statements

Additional Information About New I-539 Form and Procedures

The I-539 form now requires each dependent, regardless of age, to pay an additional biometric (fingerprints and photographs) fee to set up an appointment at the local USCIS office to have their biometrics taken. USCIS will send a biometrics appointment scheduling letter to the dependent after receiving the I-539, as part of the new biometrics requirement. Although we will continue to include the I-539 with H1B petitions that we submit to USCIS, even if the H1B petition is submitted with Premium Processing, the I-539s are not processed along with the H1B petitions. Since the I-539s require a biometric appointment, they are being separated from the H-1B petitions and face lengthier processing times than the accompanying H1B petition.

Also, please remember that the I-539 applications for the dependents are personal applications that Stanford is not responsible for. We cannot advise on the I-539 or the biometric appointments.

Dependents Outside the U.S.

Dependents who are not in the US are not subject to immigration regulations, and are not affected by these instructions. After the primary applicant has been granted H-1B or TN status, the dependents can use that approval notice to apply for H-4/TD (or other dependent status) at the US consulate in the home country.

More Information

Dependents of H-1B and O-1 employees who have entered the US in H-4 or O-3 status or who have changed to that status from another non-immigrant status may remain in the US until the end date noted on their last I-94 record. If the H-1B or O-1 employee extends his or her H status, the dependents must also extend their status by concurrently submitting a request for an extension. Dependent H-4  and O-3 students are permitted to study in the US but they may not work. H-4 and O-3 status expires for children at the time they reach 21 years old.