Dear Mentor:

As H4, and college bound, how do I get financial aid?

I am an H4 visa holder. I am going to college next fall. Is there any possible way to get financial aid or, in other words, can I get grant from FAFSA [Free Application for Federal Student Aid], scholarship or loans, or some sort of job in the colleges?

Aid for College, Moline, Illinois, USA

Dear Aid for College:

You current status, the H4 visa for the dependents of an H1 temporary worker visa holder, indicates that you are nether a US citizen not a legal permanent resident. You are not eligible for any federal of state government financial aid, be it grants, loans, or scholarships.

In fact, you would be required to change your visa to the F1 international student visa status. One of the key requirements for obtaining the F1 is that you have a demonstrated ability to finance your education personally for the entire duration. Without demonstrating your financial ability, you would not be granted the F1 visa. Under the F1 visa status, you are allowed to undertake some restricted employment.

You may wish to refer to the iMahal guide on Studying in America and Canada, which devotes an entire chapter to Financial Assistance for international students.

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