What is my marital status on the DS-160 for an H4 visa if I am filling it out prior to marriage?
[Note: I’m not a lawyer. This is not intended as legal/immigration advice. Please contact a qualified attorney to receive appropriate advice.]The DS-160: Frequently Asked Questions page does not have any specific guidelines on this question. As I see it, you have four options, and I’m listing them in my preferred order (most preferred to least) along with the reasons.I cannot imagine that this is a unique scenario, especially for consulates in India, given the number of H-4 visas that they process. I would anticipate therefore that they have encountered each of the options I have listed below (if not more). The consular officer interviewing you may have a question about your marital status, but if you are able to answer it truthfully and confidently to the point where the interviewer is convinced that you are not misrepresenting the facts, you should be fine.Wait until you get married to submit your DS-160ProsSince the H-4 visa is based on marital status, this would be my most preferred option, since you can select “Married” for your marital status.It would be true when you submit the application, and (hopefully) true when you appear for the interview.You will have the least mental agony about the process.You will have your marriage certificate handy in case the consular officer asks to see it during the interview.ConsSince interview slots fill up quickly, it may be difficult to get an interview between your wedding date and your proposed travel date to the United States. I understand this is a major downside to this approach, but you might want to weigh it against the other options and make your choice.Submit DS-160 with the marital status as “Other”, and use the explanation field to state that you are engaged to be married, your wedding date, and that you would be married by the time you appear for an interviewProsYou are not misrepresenting the facts, but you can use the explanation field to your advantage.You can get an interview appointment sooner than with option #1ConsThe interviewer may have a question about your marital status during the interview, which you can explain.You may not have enough time to secure a marriage certificate if your visa interview is scheduled really close to your wedding.Submit DS-160 with the marital status as “Single”ProsYou are stating the facts as of the date of submitting the applicationYou can get an interview appointment sooner than with option #1ConsThere is a chance your application may be flagged for review since your marital status does not correspond to the class/category of visa you are applying forYou will have (potentially unnecessary) fears about potential questions about your marital status having changedYou may not have enough time to secure a marriage certificate if your visa interview is scheduled really close to your wedding.Submit DS-160 with the marital status as “Married”ProsYou can get an interview appointment sooner than with option #1Your marital status will be consistent with the visa you are applying forConsWhile the status would be true when you appear for your interview, it is not the case at the time of submitting the application. For this reason alone, I would not choose this option if I were doing it for myselfIs it really worth the mental anguish to provide conflicting information and worry about the consequences?You may not have enough time to secure a marriage certificate if your visa interview is scheduled really close to your wedding.In summary, your situation is not unique, so please choose the approach that you are most comfortable with. You may want to contact the Customer Service Center to ask for their suggestion. In my experience, consular officers are friendly and if you can answer their questions truthfully and without it giving rise to any doubts in their minds, you should be fine.Footnotes Apply for a U.S. Visa