Frequently Asked Questions Regarding B-2 Visitor Visa – Dependents

Is there any difference in the dependent process when the principal is on secondment or employment? Basically, I would like to know if the procedure for dependents will differ depending on assignment type.

Some work visa processes do not allow visas for dependents. In general, work visas for short periods, such as SEA and STEP visas do not allow family members to accompany the expat.

At which point can you begin processing of permits for dependents? It is simultaneous with the permit of the principal or after principal received permits?

Dependents are not issued work permits. Their status "depends" on the work visa applicant. The process for dependents is done after receipt of the work permit, at the same time as applying for the work visa, or later.

Are the same-sex spouses recognized? Is there any difference if opposite-sex couples are married or not?

Expats under "Foreign Expert" category may bring their same sex partner subject to the discretion of the Ministry of Interior. Evidence of the sincerity of the relationship would have to be presented to the Ministry of Interior. Visa applications of same sex partners are reviewed on a case by case basis. Proof of marriage will serve as a strong proof of the sincerity of the relationship.

In case of partnerships, could the partner be recognized as a dependent?

The regulations allows visa issuance for immediate family members of the work visa applicant; as such unmarried partners are not granted automatic status. However, expats under "Foreign Expert" category may bring their partner subject to the discretion of the Ministry of Interior. Evidence of the sincerity of the relationship would have to be presented to the Ministry of Interior and applications are reviewed on a case by case basis.

Do dependents have to apply for a visa prior to arrival?

For a non-visa waiver national, there will be a need to apply simultaneously for both the applicant and dependents’ visa. For waiver nationals, the visa application will be submitted upon completion of the main applicants work visa.

Can dependents apply for permits directly in the host location without consular processing?

For non-visa waiver nationals, there will be a need to go through consular processing. For waiver nationals, there will be no need for consular processing.

Based on your experience, is there any point in the dependent process where we should "watch out" or take extra care - any red flags?

This would depend on the specific nature of the case. In general, all applicants should be immediate family members of the applicant, and their relation to the applicant should be proved by supportive documents. In case the dependent children are not the biological children of the work visa applicant, legal guardianship will have to be proven.

Do any documents require legalization?

Under the regulations, original and verified documents must be submitted, including but not limited to the birth certificate of the beneficiary’s children, and the marriage certificate of the beneficiary, verified by an Apostille stamp.

Are dependents authorized to work?

Most work visa processes do not allow work visas for dependents. A new visa option -available only for Hi-Tech companies - allows an EAS work visa for the spouse of a foreign national.

What is the lead time recommended for dependents applications prior to the filing of the application?

Normal lead time for non-waiver nationals is 1-2 weeks, unless a security clearance is required (e.g. for Malaysian nationals and other Muslim majority countries). The Consular process is a minimum of 1 work day and can take up to 2 weeks (in India), depending on the Consulate's workload.

What is the processing time for dependent visas from the filing of the initial application until approval (and until they can come to destination location)?

The estimated time is 2-4 weeks.

Who can be recognized as a dependent (e.g. wife, children, parents, grandparents, etc)?

Spouse and Children under the age of 18.

Is there any age limitation for children?

18 years of age.

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