My oldest child and I hold H-4 visas as dependents of my husband because he has an H-1B visa. Our youngest child was born in the United States and is a US citizen. Our marriage is not working out so I am considering divorce. Can I keep my H-4 visa if I get divorced or get a green card through my youngest US citizen child?

Immigration law is determined by the federal government and marriage and divorce law are dictated by state governments. So the governments and legal processes involved are separate but divorce and immigration considerations will influence each other.

Depending on the state in which you live, you may meet that state’s requirements for divorce even though you are living in the United States temporarily.

Your H-4 status is dependent on being married to the person holding the H-1B. If you divorce your husband, your H-4 status will end when the divorce is final. You should discuss the situation with us or another lawyer to determine if there is any other way for you to stay or work in the United States.

H-4 status for children expires when a child turns 21 years old so I assume your oldest child is under 21. Since your youngest US citizen child would also be under 21, he or she would not be able to currently sponsor you for permanent residency or a green card. However, a US citizen would be able to sponsor a parent once that US citizen turns 21 as long as the parent is otherwise qualified. You should discuss the situation with a legal professional.

If you have any questions regarding immigration, please feel free to call me, immigration attorney Shawn Mesa at (813) 679-5780.

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a public service and not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Any reliance on this information is taken at your own risk.

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