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G-4 Visa Questions

The G-4 visa is a non-immigrant visa that is issued to employees of designated international organizations entering the United States as part of their appointment. The immediate family members of the employees of the principal G-4 visa holders, subject to certain conditions, are also eligible for the visa. Although the rules for G-4 visa are well documented there are cases when expert opinion is indispensable. Listed below are some top questions answered by Experts on issues related to the G-4 visa.

Can G-4 dependents apply for work permits?

Most immediate family members and dependents of a G-4 visa holder, subject to certain conditions, should be eligible for work permits in the U.S. G-4 employee’s spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 are free to work in the country, provided they get work authorization. Additionally, unmarried children under the age of 23 and studying full time at a post-secondary educational institution are also eligible. Unmarried physically or mentally disabled children of G-4 employees of any age are eligible to get work authorization.

All other G-4 dependents can also request for work authorization if they have spent an aggregate of seven years in the U.S. as G-4 dependents between the age of 5 and 21. Dependents falling under this category should avail themselves of this benefit before the age of 25. Eligible dependents can file Form I-360 with the necessary supporting evidence in order to get work permits.

Can G-4 visa holders and their dependents apply for a Green Card?

G-4 visa holders and their dependents should be eligible for Green Cards provided some conditions are fulfilled. A G-4 visa holder who is an officer or employee of an international organization should be eligible for a Green Card after retirement, provided he applies within six months of retirement. The spouse of a retired G-4 visa holder may also be eligible for Green Card, as long as the spouse has resided in the U.S. for at least half of the preceding seven years. In addition, the unmarried children of G-4 holders who are under 25 and who meet similarly specified residence requirements may also be eligible for Green Cards.

My G-4 visa will expire in a few days. Can I apply for an F-1 visa given my G-4 visa status?

In order to change the status of your visa from G-4 to F-1, you would first want to apply for admission at a university. After you are accepted to the school, you can get Form I-120 from the designated school official, who should be available at the school’s international student office. At that time you should be able to change your nonimmigrant status to F-1 by submitting Form I-120 and Form I-539 (the application to change nonimmigrant status) along with other supporting documents.

Can I travel abroad and re-enter using G-4 Visa after filing adjustment of status?

As a G-4 Visa holder, after you files for adjustment of status, you cannot use the G-4 to re-enter the U.S. from a trip abroad. Filing Form I-485 means you have also filed two other forms, I-131 which is the advance parole for travel and I-765 which is the employment authorization. If you, as the G-4 visa holder, leave the U.S. before your advance parole document is issued to you by the authorities, you will abandon your application. Typically the documents are issued within 90 to120 days.

Although your International organization takes care of your G-4 requirements, at times there may be complications. When you are not sure of the hassles involved with the G-4 visa, it is always best to seek legal insight from Immigration Experts.
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