Family: Nonimmigrant

Most temporary (nonimmigrant) immigration categories have provisions for the spouse and minor child/ren of a primary nonimmigrant. This allows these family members to immigrate to the United States on a temporary basis so the family can stay together. Each dependant category carries specific restrictions as to whether work may be authorized. Many dependant nonimmigrants are allowed to attend school. Durational eligibility is tied to the duration of the primary applicant’s status.

While eligibility for these categories is based upon a familial relationship, the cases are not technically considered family-based immigration, as that requires a U.S. citizen or permanent resident petitioning family member. The family-based categories of K-1 (fiancée) and K-3 (spousal) petitions, which are temporary, are treated primarily as immigrant (permanent) categories.


  • Children must be under 21 and unmarried to be dependants in most nonimmigrant categories. Exceptions exist for diplomats and international organization representatives for unmarried children living in the parental household.
  • Each family member must maintain his/her own status, even if it is dependant upon a spouse or parent. This means maintaining a valid I-94 card at all times.

How We Can Help You

  • The Murthy Law Firm can help assess the nonimmigrant options available as a dependant family member.
  • Our attorneys can advise as to requirements for obtaining a dependant, nonimmigrant status.
  • We can advise as to the eligibility for employment authorization and school attendance as a dependant nonimmigrant.
  • We can prepare and submit the necessary filings to the USCIS and/or U.S. Department of State.
  • Our firm provides representation in connection with changes of status to and from dependant, nonimmigrant status.