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Can H4 Visa Holder Study in US? In-state Tuition? Advantages?

Once you arrive in US on a H4 Visa as a dependent, unless you are eligible and can apply for H4 EAD, you cannot work. It can be frustrating to sit home. Many plan to pursue higher studies like MS or MBA in US. Many wonder, if they can study on H4 visa in the first place and what are the advantages and disadvantages. This article will focus on all such aspects of studying in US as H4 visa holder.

Why H4 Visa holders wish to study MS or MBA in USA ?

H4 Visa is a dependent visa and does not provide work options for everyone. When H4 holders arrive in US as spouse of H1B visa holder, they are pretty much dependent on their spouse for everything. Most of them may have had a professional career and have dreams to work and contribute to society. It can be frustrating to sit at home and do nothing. Below are some of the common reasons H4 visa holders aspire to study MS  or MBA in US.

  • Young educated professionals who are married to H1B holders in US are ambitious and would like to pursue higher education to reach their education goals, get a job in US after that.
  • One of the other significant reasons is that many of H4 holders cannot work as many of them may not qualify and Apply for H4 EAD to work in US
  • Most of the young professional women are so bored at home and they are having hard time adjusting from their busy work life before marriage and slow housewife life staying at home. They want to keep themselves busy and get education instead of wasting time sitting at home.
  • Some of them see the advantages of going back to school and maybe taking advantage tuition fee related advantages, if they qualify.
  • Also, H1B spouses want their dependents to get adjusted to the environment, culture and lifestyle in US and school would be good place to get accustomed to the society.

Besides the above, US is one the best places to study as it has some of the top class universities and education experience can be great. It can help shape up professional life in US in the future for H4 visa holder.

In-state tuition Eligibility for H4 visa holders to Study in US ?

Depending on the University you plan to join, you may have two kinds of fees : In-state or Out-of-State Tuition fee. The fee difference can be significant, if you have to pay out-of-state tuition fee. In-state tuition fee is only available in State Universities. Private schools do not have the concept of out of state vs in-state fee. Example, if you go to Harvard or MIT, you do not get in-state tuition as they are private universities.

State Universities offer in-state tuition fee for its residents in the state. The fee that residents pay would be typically half of the out-of-state tuition fee. The good thing with in-state tuition fee is that its eligibility is based how long you are living in the state and if you have paid taxes. To get in-state you do not have to be a US citizen.

In general, most of the work visa types like H1B or L1 and their dependents on H4 or L2 can qualify for in-state tuition, if they meet the residency requirements ( how long you stayed in the state). So, in-state tuition fee option is available for H4 visa holders, if they meet the requirements.

The residency requirements to get in-state tuition vary by state. The general rule of thumb is, if you have physically lived in the state for one year or more and paid taxes, you would be eligible for in-state tuition fee. You need to always check with school as this may be slightly different based on state and school you plan to attend.

Requirements to get In-state Tuition for H4 Holders

In-state tuition eligibility can vary by state and the school you plan to attend, so you should always check with the school. Having said that, below are the typical requirements that needs to be fulfilled by H4 visa holder.

  • Married to H1B Visa holder and on dependent H4 Visa for at least one year.
  • Lived in the State along with H1B holder for at least one year to meet the residency requirement
  • H1B visa holder paid taxes in the state with dependent status.

Documents Checklist to get In-state Tuition for H4 Visa

There are two things that States usually look at: relationship proof for H1B holder, Residency requirements. Below are the documents for the same.

Relationship Evidence to H1B holder

  • Marriage Certificate for proof of marriage
  • Any other proofs like endorsement in Passport (optional).

Residency Requirements

  • Your arrival info in state like Flight Tickets, or any other reservations
  • Rental agreements can also help establish that you were in state
  • Credit card or debit card statements with transactions
  • Bank Account statements with address of home
  • Driving License in the state
  • State ID card
  • Tax filing documents like W2 forms
  • If you have a car, its registration documents in the state

It is important for the H4 visa holder to start and get in lease or get state ID so that you have proofs for residency.

In-state Requirements from few States for H4 holder

Below are the residency requirements from few of the states related to H4 Visa Holder.

It is recommend that you check with the School you plan to apply on the residency requirements and in-state before you finalize the schools.

Advantages of Studying in US on H4 Visa

Below are some the main advantages of studying on H4 Visa

  • If you meet the requirements as listed above for in-state tuition, the biggest advantage is tuition fee savings. Your total tuition is less than one half. You will save at least 50 – 60 % of tuition or more depending on the tuition fee structure. Imagine the fee is like $20,000 for out-of-state students, you would pay more or less $10,000 getting in-state tuition fee.
  • You can study full time and do not worry about working during studying. Your husband pays for your school and you get all the time in the world to study and focus on education.
  • If you have worked in your home country for some time, you may have an advantage over others in terms of grasping subjects quickly and performing better.
  • Once you graduate with Masters Degree like MS or MBA, you will be eligible for US masters quota cap when they file H1B visa to work in US. In general, there are additional 20,000 H1B visa slots reserved for US Masters category. As we have H1B Registration Lottery process now, it will help you with the luck of getting selected with US Masters.

Disadvantages of Studying on H4 visa in US

  • You will not be able to work On-Campus and may not be able to utilize the opportunities of TA, RA or GA funding options of University. The reason is most of them are given to full time F1 visa students.
  • You will not be able to work on CPT as F1 students.
  • You will not be eligible to get OPT (Optional Practical Training) to work for one year after graduation like F1 students.
  • If your masters degree belongs to STEM category, you will not be able to use the 24 month extension of OPT for STEM Degrees
  • If you do not meet the H4 in-state tuition requirements, you will have to wait for one year to meet the requirements. This is one year waste of time !

How to prepare for In-state Tuition eligibility for H4 Visas

Make sure you follow the below steps after you move to a new state, so that you do not regret after one year of stay for in-state tuition purpose.

  • Get a state drivers license in the first week or 10 days.
  • Register your Car and get State registration number plate in 10 days
  • Make sure you have your rental lease agreement on your name.
  • If you are a consultant, make sure you are paying taxes to the state you are living in, you must file taxes at end of year and have copy of W2 for future reference.
  • Open a bank account in the state, if you can.

Hopefully, you got a good idea on H4 visa holder education in US with a gist of advantages and disadvantages. You have to carefully decide and talk to school DSO that  you are applying to before you jump into any conclusions.  You will not get any in-state tuition in Private schools !

How to pay for Education ? Loan to study on H4 visa ?

If you are passionate to study, but do not have money or you do not have credit history to take loan to study, it can be very frustrating. Luckily, one of the promising Y-Combinator funded fin-tech startups founded by international students, has an option to support H4 visa holders to get education loan. You or your spouse can apply and get loan for education in US.  You can get loan anywhere from $1,000 USD  to $35,000 USD depending on your eligibility, even without credit history. You also build credit history, if you get loan approved. We have partnered with them, you can Apply for H4 Study Education Loan at Stilt

What has been your experience ?  Did you get in-state tuition ? Share your experience.

Image Credits : http://www.flickr.com/photos/bdwaydiva1/2676105374/


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  1. Hi..I moved to USA in H4 visa with my hubby one month back..he has H1-B visa.i completed my engineering in Chennai.could I able to study any course related full time or part time with dependent visa?can any1 plz guide..

  2. Hi,
    I am in H4 visa, I plan to join Masters in Fall 17 (STEM Course) but I am not eligible for instate tuition fee currently.I would qualify for Instate tuition from Spring 17.I would also qualify for H4 EAD in Fall 18. Should I convert now or Getting a job through H4 EAD is easier as visa sponsorship is not necessary or Should I opt for F1 in order to get benefits such as TA/RA, OPT,CPT and smooth transition to H1B.
    Is it worth to pursue Masters now as H1b Visa regualtions have strictened or be idle for one more year and utilize H4 EAD and get job directly?

    • Hi,

      I am doing a Masters in Special Education from Boston University on H4 visa ( NO EAD yet)
      I have to complete a pre practicum this spring – once a week for 6 hours for 12 weeks.
      It is unpaid and Schools don’t need any SSN details. I checked with the BU ISSO and they said I should be fine … but I am a little concerned. Any clarity would help! Thank you!

      • Nair,
        If you are not paid, considered as voluntary kind of work and they do NOT use any of your SSN details, then you are fine. Usually, when someone pays you, then they need SSN…School would know this best, double check with DSO on this once as well.

  3. This information is misleading and wrong. Called up universities in NJ and they stated that NJ state law provides in state tuition for GC and citizen only

    • manyolo,
      It is not wrong, it clearly tells that “there are exceptions and you need to check with the school“. Most of the US states offer in-state for H4 visa holders. You can check the links on the site and speak to those universities. Here is exact text one of them from Univ of Wisconsin : “Visas which allow individuals to be considered for residence for tuition purposes include the H-1 and related H-4, E, K, and certain L visas as well as asylees. A student on one of these visas is not required to affirm a domicile in his/her country of origin.” Check What if I am not US Citizen on the UW Page

  4. Hi All,
    I have a query regarding Writing GRE exam in US.
    I will be coming to US on H4 in August-2017. I will be applying for Phd there for next spring/fall(2018).
    Can I write GRE/TOEFL exams there?

    • Hi its best to complete the tests in India . The test centers would be limited depending on the area of your stay and getting a date as per your convenience is also a problem. Do check the ETS website about the test center locations and the available dates before you make a trip to US.

      • Hi , also I have another question regarding the same.
        What about the standard of exam? Like will the verbal part be easier in INDIA than in US.
        I was told it would of same standard. i want to know if some wrote GRE in US and know how the standard is.
        As per the area that i would stay in Michigan (Detroit). So, i saw ETS website and found many test centers and test dates. So that shouldnt be a problem. Anyways i will try to complete TOEFL before i come to US. but i doubt whether i Could complete .GRE

  5. Hi,

    I am on H4 visa i came to US (new jersey) in December 2016. I have completed B.com and also PDGBM (Distance learning). Also have 3 years of working experience. I spouse is staying here from last 3 year. Am I eligible for Finance related full time courses? If yes, How can I get more information about it?

  6. As many of us are aware, from May 2015, H4 VISA holders can apply for Employment Authorization if H1B spouse has approved form I-140. My question is – If my wife has H4 EAD , can she still study on H4 Visa and able to gain all benifits of F1 like GA/RA or funding? H4-EAD has no employment restrictions.

    • Akshay,
      She is technically allowed to work on EAD, that should give her access to on-campus jobs. GA/RA eligibility varies by school as some of them expect students to be full time ( not sure, if your case is so)…either case, I suggest you check with DSO and office of financial aid at the school you plan to study.

      • Ok. Thanks for the information. I will check with DSO. I am planning for full time enrollment to the course. In that case, do you think getting GA/RA would be a problem?

  7. I will be going to US during march 2017 on H4 with my husband (H1B) I am planning to convert my H4 into F1 quickly and join some 6 months or part time degree course . Am I eligible to do that . I am an MBA in marketing and having 7 years of Digital marketing experience in India.

  8. Hi,
    I previously had H1B visa and have worked in usa for 2 years. Now I am on H4 in chicago with my spouse. I want to study some part time course which is completely unrelated to software engineering. can i do that ? After completion , am i eligible for working if i transfer to F1?

    • yes, you can study anything you want. To get F1 status, you will need to be full time student. Also, there are restrictions on how long you can work and your OPT eligibility, depending on when you do COS to F1. You will need to check with DSO at the school you plan to apply.

  9. Hi, recently I brought my wife to U.S in H4 . she has completed her b.c.a degree in madras university n worked as test engineer for 5 years in IT (testing),Chennai. She would like to study technology wise in U.S n wishing to work here… can anyone guide us…

    • ABC,
      Well, what guidance do you need ? She can study anything that she wants to, schools in US gives that flexibility to switch fields as well.

  10. Hi,
    I am in my H4 Visa & I have completed one year of my stay in California, In order to prove my residency for admission in graduate school to get my instate tuition fees.I have given my State ID & Tax returns filed along with my husband. But the Office is asking for more supporting documents.Unfortunately, my name is not registered in lease agreement neither i do not have any utility bills(Phone Bills) as my connection is prepaid.Other than these proofs is there anything that suffice the residency criteria?

  11. Hi, I am on H4 visa and I am planning for spring admission (January) 2017 in California. I hope I can get my instate tuition fee waived by half because I entered US on December 10th 2015. but my question is, I have travelled India for one month during my stay. Will that affect me from getting instate tuition fees?

    • vinodhini,
      The one month gap or out of US staay does not matter. If your spouse has lived for over one year and paid state taxes, and you were with him for one year in that state, typically you would qualify. Every state is different, this totally depends on state rules. I suggest you check on any State Schools website or call up DSO at any state school.

    • Hi vinodhini,
      I am also looking for waiving the in state tuition fees! I live in California too. I meet all the criteria.I do not know where to start! I need some guidance on that! Your help will be very much appreciated! Thanking in advance!


  12. My wife has been in the US under H1 B for about a year, and her i140 has been accepted. I have a H4 visa, and basis the i140, have applied for EAD which is under receipt and is in process.
    I am planning to apply to an Institute for an MBA. This would also entail taking up an internship for about 2-3 months during the middle of the 12 month course.
    Ideally I would like to retain my EAD for obvious benefits. However, would like to understand
    (i) Can I be enrolled as a full time student under the existing H4 ?
    (ii) Is there any specific rule / or benefit under which I should change to an F1.
    (iii) Can I take up internship (paid) during the course of study (under H4, with EAD)? Or is internship only for F1 ?

    • Hi Farooq

      I’m in a similar situation now. Have you got any answer for the questions above. Any help would be appreciated.

      Thank you.

  13. Creative ideas ! I Appreciate the points – Does someone know if my assistant would be able to obtain a template IRS W-2 document to fill in ?

  14. Hi,

    I’m moving to Seattle on H4 visa. I’m a Banking Professional with MBA degree in Finance and marketing. What kind of courses can i do so that I’m eligible to work their. What will be the criteria for the same.

    • ABC,
      Your H4 Status will NOT let you work, unless you have EAD for H4. Check with your spouse, if you will be eligible for EAD for H4.

  15. Hi,
    I recently got married my husband on H1b and me on H4 visa. We are moving to California. I have completed B.E and have 1.5 years of experience on IDM Technology. If I have to do Ms should I have to take up GRE/TOFEL? Is there any courses on IDM technology?

  16. Hi,

    I got married recently and my wife is an H1B holder and we are settled in US now.I am on dependent visa and I intend to to do an MBA from a US university and would like to know a few things:

    1)Do I require a GMAT /TOEFL score to get admisison for MBA or MS in any university?
    2)After studies can I try for jobs who will sponsor me with H1B visa?
    3)What are the advantages or disadvantages for being a dependent visa student?

    Thank you

      • Hi

        I am currently holding H1B visa and got recently married. My husband wants to come here on H4 visa and pursue PhD in electrical engineering. Please let me know if someone has the same situation.


  17. I am on H4 and doing masters. I have got research opportunity in my university, so i might be getting tuition waiver.
    Am i eligible to get the tuition waiver?

  18. hi
    i went to US in past 1 month ..i finished in bachalor degree in computer in india.. my husband said if you interest u join in higher study..but i confused what course i choose because i dnt knw about the US education and i interest in jobs…but i have no idea to anything …plz clarify me..

  19. Hi
    Can a married businessman (29 years old) from India is eligible to do MBA in California? Is there any requirements? I have work experience in my own company for 6 years.

  20. I am on H-1B visa. My spouse is also on H-1B visa.My EAD is pending, expected to get in Feb 2015.
    I have got admission in a university course starting from Jan 2015.
    Can I apply for H-4B visa and pending H-4b visa can I study in Jan2015 course?
    I need guidance.

  21. Hi,im h4 dependent visa holder travelling US in jan 2015. My wife is already working in h1 visa in US. Im planning to apply for h1 next year. Can I do any online technical certification in my lean time until I get my H4 visa converted to H1 .. Please provide suggestions.

  22. Hi, I’m coming this month in US, with the H4 visa. My husband has the H1B. I’d like to know if I can start any school here (I have only high school diploma), and what type of fees will I pay there? As an international student or as a resident?
    Thank you so much!

  23. Hi,

    I am on H4 and have completed my PhD in pharmaceutical sciences. I came to USA i month ago, can i get instate fees benefit base on my spouse. He is on H1 and staying here for last 6months. so can i use her license and other document and get in-state fees benefits?

    Also if i study on H4 now for a year and after a year if i change my visa to student visa. can I get OPT and CPT.


    • Alka,
      1. For Instate tuition fee either you or your spouse must be in same state and paid tax for at least one year.
      2. You can get the admission on H4 but for OPT you must take F1 visa at-least one year prior.

      All these information i got it from many links.

  24. Hiii

    I have completed my B.E in Mechanical Engineering in India, before 2 months I get shifted in Chicago. Now I wanted to study further but I m really confused what to do? So please guide me to the way. !!

  25. i m on h4 visa.i completed my graduation of 3 years in india..can i study here??
    if i can study..what i have to study …please guide me…plz

  26. HI,
    I have completed b Tech and wil b persuing m tech in india itself..But after my m tech i will be married to my cousin bro in law whose a H1b visa holder in USA.So wat wil b my status after completing mtech in india. shud i need to do MS again in us or will i b eligible to work der, as i move with H4 visa to US

    Plz do suggest me

  27. Hi,
    I am on h4 visa, I have done Telecommunication Engineering, planning to do MS in networking
    My questions are
    1) to get in state tuition fees, should I get a driving lisence and lease on my name(is these are must), is it not enough with my husband’s W2 form?
    2) if at all after a year of course, if I wish to change my h4 visa to F1visa, would I be eligible to get OPT and 17months OPT extension

    Thank you

  28. wat if i have only 12th std pass degree and not a bachelors degree in engineering can i apply for h4 visa?? is bachelors degree compulsory?

  29. Hi,

    I am on H4 Visa trying to study here master in CIS. I came to USA 15 days ago.

    Can i get In-state student benifits base on my Spause. He is here from last 2 years so can i get instate fees benifits base on his H1 visa?

    Can i apply for F1 after one year i study on h4 visa and get OPT and CPT?

    Please help me with this

  30. Hi,

    M on H4 and want to do Master in CIS. I came to USA 15 days ago, can i get instate fees benefit base on my spouse. She is on H1 and staying here for last 2 years. so can i use her license and other document and get in-state fees benefits?

    Also if i study on H4 now for a year and after a year if i change my visa to student visa. can I get OPT and CPT.


  31. hi,

    I am on H4 and m staying at schaumburg (near chicago) for more than 14 months.
    I completed my MCA in India and worked in india for 2 years.
    Now i wanted to do my MS IT here, Can you please tell me suggestions about my following questions,
    On which visa can i study ? If I continue my studies with H4, later is it possible to convert my visa from h4 to f1 to avail OPT CPT ?
    On what basis i have to select my school ? Public or private?
    Can u please suggest some good universities?
    I heard private schools did not approve instate fee reduction.

    Really I am in confusion. hope u can help me.

    • Hi,

      first of all do research on the Universities which better suits you. Get admitted and immediately apply for F1 visa ( it might take more time than usual) once you are on F1 you can do on campus jobs and also can work on CPT/OPT. It is also easy to find job on F1 compared to H4. Private universities does not offer Instate fee waivers, but they might have scholarships. state universities might offer instate tuition fee waiver but again they are expensive. Try ITU.EDU which is located in California but offers, flexible class schedules and many students from all over USA study over there. This university gives Internship opportunities from the first semester. But yeah do your research on universities which makes huge difference in finding a job.

  32. Hi, I am moving to US on h1b. My wife will be joining me and she will be on h4. She has done her BA (Eng) and currently doing MA (Eng). She is in first year as of now. I just want to know what options does she have for studies in USA ? Like which degree she will be eligible for..etc. Please help.


  33. Hi,
    im a doctor from pakistan, on H4 visa in USA for 3 years, what/how to proceed if i want to get some higher degree here (i know in order to practice here i need the License but i dont have time for exam due to family responsibilities)
    Can you please guide me further ??

  34. Hi Saurabh,
    I came to US on H4 visa in the month of July-2013 and staying in Albany,NY since then.
    After a month my husband is going to be transferred to Atlanta,GA.
    I wanted to get the information regarding the courses i can opt for Masters Program in US (either classroom or online) . I have pursued Bachelors in Foreign trade from India.
    If you can suggest me any good links too then it would be great.

    Thanks & Regards,

  35. Hi , I am Sravya.
    I am an Indian having L2 dependent (spouse) visa, i have completed my graduation in India itself. I would like to do MS in Electrical Engineering with L2 visa, i mean,I dont want to change my visa status from L2 to F1. Is it possible?
    Is there any universities without GRE or TOEFL in and around San Diego to get admission?
    Kindly do reply to my queries?
    Thank you.

  36. Hi
    I am on l2 . I completed my Master’s in Computers in India .If i pursue MS in US , am i going to get any special quota in filing H1 visa ?

  37. I did MBA in India in 2010.i came here USA on h4 visa base .I would like do job here .could you please recommend me what is the best college for tranfer h4 to f1 and what is exactly I choose study for do job related to software I desperate to learn and do job .my Gre score is 278 with this can I eligible to study in college .please I am so glad to appreciate if you could reply suggesion .
    thank you sir/madam

  38. I am the great ancient physician i bring luck to you all that are having problems like all the above mentioned happening in your life and business example:having financial problems, bad luck(like every thing you put your hands into does not work) or each time you go to an interview for a Job you are not given the gob or maybe you have a business and it is not moving forward just as you want it,you are working and for past many years you have not been promoted it may be in a Government house or a company,or probably you don’t have a job yet i advice you contact for spiritual counseling to break this spirit of stagnancy that is holding you from moving forward just as your mates are successful because in life no one is made to be poor,this can be your only chance.
    Get in touch with The great Dr.Zugar the chosen one by the gods his lucky spells are pure and does not have any side effect visit email:ancientzugarcounselling@live.com.

  39. Dear Sir,
    I did my MHA and Physiotherapy from India. Currently, I am in USA on H4 visa.
    Would like to know,
    1. Are there any part- time or online courses which provides OPT/CPT ? since my stay in USA will be for couple of years.
    2. Is it possible for H4 visa holder to apply for EAD ? Because one of the S/W companies working on healthcare projects is asking me to do.

    Kindly reply as soon as possible. Thanks in advance.


    • Sujata,
      1. You will have to look at schools around your area to see what courses they offer and whether they issue CPT or OPT. Do not fall into trap of those that advertise CPT from day 1.
      2. No EAD for H-4 visa holders.

  40. Hi,
    I have done my MBA from India and have worked for 4 years in pvt bank there.Now I am in USA on h4 visa.Is it advisable to study here and again pursue an MBA which I prefer not to do.It wud be really helpful if U can advise me with some short term courses here which can b helpful to me while searching for job next year and finding some consultant who can file H1 for me.


    • Hi Vandana, you can join any college on H4 for short term courses. but once done your options will be very limited. I came to USA on H4 and started job hunt but in vein. I too have an MBA and have 5 years of work experience in MNC in senior executive position. none of the companies will be ready to file for H1 also with INDIAN MBA its difficult to get H1B. best option is to change the stauts to fulltime student i.e. F1 some universities like ITU.EDU gives many options for these kind of situation. also in you are changing your status go to India once you receive your I – 20 , don’t apply in USA for status change. it will take forever. I am waiting from last 5 months for the status change

    • Hi Vandana,
      I have an MBA degree from India and 3 years working experience in a public sector bank.Right now on H4 in US.I would like to work here in USA too.I see that you too are in a similar situation. Have you found out a degree that can place you in a job in H1B category??

      • Hi Pallavi,

        No. Only option I could figure out was to take admission in a university and change the status to F1. I contacted a lot of consultants but most suggested this option only. Best of luck for your search.

        • Thank you Vandana. I have tried many options too but none are working. Its difficult to get a job in H1B categiry if you are not in the STEM category? Am I right??And also its difficult to get instate tuition in a public university.

          • You can take instate tuition benefit if you are living in that particular state for 1 year.For that get your driving license first.
            You can also talk to professors of the university..They can do something to help you if you are falling short of few months.Talking helps.
            If you are on OPT,CPT then all consultants will be ready to file H1b for you if you work with them.

  41. Hi Saurabh,
    Am in H4 visa living in maryland, MD from last may’12, now I got my ITIN, I want to study MBA here. am eligible for in state tution fees.

    • H4 – study MBA,
      Different states have different requirements for in-state fees. You will have to check for MD school requirements. As you have spent more than 1 year in MD, you may be eligible for in-state fees.

  42. Hi

    I am getting married this november and my fiance wants to become a teacher. She has done her Bio tech enginerring but she wants to pursue teaching profession.

    I am not finding the right steps to help her qualify herself in that direction. Could you please help me out? I am staying in New Jersey

  43. Hi,
    I have done MA (Economics) and have 4 years of teaching experience in private colleges. I want to persue MBA degree from US. I am married and my husband is in US on H1B visa. I have H4B visa.Please suggest.

    I have one more ques, If suppose, I am contiuning my MBA degree, my husband has to leave US in meanwhile. Will I be legally allowed to continue the studies?

    • Neetu,
      If he leaves for a short trip and plans to return to US soon, then you can stay back and continue on H-4. However, if he is leaving for a longer duration (say several weeks), then you shouldn’t stay back on H-4. H-4 is primarily a family reunion visa and cannot be used to “park” the dependents in US. You should consult your husband’s attorney to know how long you can stay w/o him.

      • Thanks the information. He has 1 year of H1B visa (ending on sept, 2014) . We are not sure, If he will get extension becuase that completely depends upon the work that time. he is in IT industry.

        Is there any way, this can be considered. Or Can we make the H4B visa as F1 visa till I completes the education?

        • Neetu,
          If he goes out of US for a long duration, then its better to move to F-1 and continue studies. You can file COS for the same. Note that fees will be higher on F-1 but if filed timely it will allow you to go for OPT and Advanced degree H-1 later.

          • Hi Saurabh ,

            I am on H4 visa and I stay in Boston, recently moved in been a month and finding it really difficult to know which course I should go for as I have done my Masters in MicroBiology and have an experience of about 2 years in a Pharma sector so I would like to know what can be done further?? any suggestions

  44. Hi Saurabh,

    I am 6+ years exp in top Indian software company. I came to US on Jan 2013 with H4 in a gut feeling to get the H1, also i got an employer in US who applied for my H1B in premium. unluckily it was lottery and i did’nt get my application selected in the lottery as of now. i have been asked by my employer to wait to get any final conclusions till my package is returned back with rejection.I need some suggestions , what can i do if i was not selected in the lottery, i am not willing to return back, so what are some options which can suit me so that i can stay in US provided i am not idle. i have finished my bachelors in computer and hold 7 years of exp in top Indian Software.


  45. Hi,

    I am on H-4 visa ,I moved from Wisconsin to Newjersy 3 months ago.I want to do MS in USA.I don’t have any work experience.I have done my B.Tech in India. I stayed in Wisconsin for 1.5 years.Here my question is which place is good for education Wisconsin or Newjersy.Some where i studied we have to stay 1 year on same state on H4 visa then only applicable to apply for MS.

    Is This True.Please help me


  46. Hi
    I came to Houston,Texas on H4 visa in november-12.I want to enroll myself into University of Houston.I have few questions.
    1.Do i require GRE/TOFEl scores to enroll?
    2.How to convert my visa to F1?
    3. is there any chance to get in-state tuition fee? because i may not be able to complete 1 year stay by august-2012.
    Please help me out with the above questions

    • Rani,
      1. You will have to check w/ the school about that. Some require it while others can waive it off if the person has previous work experience and can submit good reference letters.
      2. The school will issue you I-20. You will then have to submit the SEVIS fees. Later you will have to file COS (change of status) application from H-4 to F-1. Once approved you will be considered on F-1. Supporting documents include proof of maintaining H-4 status (i.e. spouse’s H-1 copy, payslips, W-2s etc), proof of financial resources etc.
      3. Check w/ the school on this as different states have different rules around in-state tuition. However, I am pretty sure once you are on F-1, you will have to pay fees for an international student and not in-state tuition.

      • Thank you so much saurabh for the quick reply.I have one more question
        How to get reference letters?
        Do i need to get it from india or any other option available to get it?

        • Rani,
          If you previous work experience then you can get it from your old manager. Also, try to get one from your old university professor, preferably one who taught a course closely related to your course in University of Houston. It is ok if these reference letters are from people who are based out of India.

          Forgot to mention earlier – You should also check w/ the school about TOEFL. There are schools that conduct their own English test and based on its result may ask you to take-up an additional English language course during your graduation studies. At least that’s how a prominent state university does in CA.


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