I went to a bank for applying for secure credit card for my H4 spouse (she has a valid ITIN). Bank associate told me that she has to show some income in order to apply. I told them that legally she can't earn and can't make any money, but she is added to my checking account in which I receive my salary.

So, the bank associate said you can enter part of your salary as her income in the credit card application form and so bank associate entered half of my annual income in her application form.

I want to know is this legally right to do such a thing? As H4 holders are not allowed to work, earn and show any salary; so can this thing be considered against the rules and can it impact mine or her visa status?

Associate also said that you might have to show income proof if the bank credit card department asks for it. Have anyone done such a thing and is it right to do?

  • 2
    It is probably not against the law. Another option is to apply for a credit card account for yourself and get a second card issued against the same account in your wife's name. That is probably the better option given your status and your concerns.
    – phoog
    Jun 10, 2016 at 18:36
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    It also matters in what state you reside. IANAL, but in the Community Property states (roughly those that were once Mexico, plus Wisconsin) your salary belongs to the community, i.e., the husband+wife, jointly. @phoog's suggestion of getting a second card in her name on your account strikes me as the best plan, regardless. Jun 11, 2016 at 2:25
  • I'm guessing you're in California, where community property rules apply. @AndrewLazarus is spot on.
    – littleadv
    Jun 11, 2016 at 2:29
  • Currently I am in New York but will be moving to Washington state soon.
    – Dhiman
    Jun 11, 2016 at 12:57
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    There's nothing really 'illegal' about it. In the end, it is the credit card issuer taking the risk. If that is what they say they will accept, then so be it.
    – ouflak
    Jun 12, 2016 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


I would seriously question the statement of the bank associate. The visa status and source of income are irrelevant to her application. In order to build credit history however I would recommend you to consider a "secured credit card" with a security deposit as collateral. This should be no problem to establish and will enable your spouse.

  • Ah, good point. Credit applications generally ask for income; not all income is earned income.
    – phoog
    Jun 15, 2016 at 21:28

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