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Dependent Spouse / Child(ren)

The spouse and unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) of the F-1/J-1 student are eligible for F-2/J-2 dependent status.

F-2 Dependents Obligations

J-2 Dependents Obligations

May enter the U.S. with/after the F-1 student,
but never before

May enter the US along with or after the J-1 non-immigrant, but never before

Must have a valid travel signature each time
they travel outside the U.S.

May attend classes at the university

F-2 spouses may study part-time as long as
it does not amount to what regulations define as full-time - click here enrollment information.

May be admitted as a full-time degree seeking student

Must leave if F-1 student has been outside U.S. more than 5 months.

May remain in the US after the J-1 departs
if the J-1's departure is temporary. 

Cannot be employed

May be employed with approval from CIS (formerly INS) in the form of an EAD card.

 

Inviting F-2 Dependents:
Each F-2 dependent must have his/her own Form I-20.  This I-20 Form can be obtained from Visa & Immigration Services (VIS) by the F-1 status holder.  The addition of dependents will significantly increase the estimated expenses and will require additional financial support documentation.  Students wishing to request a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20/DS-2019) for their spouse and/or child(ren) must verify  the availability of an additional $8,955 per year for their spouse and an additional $4,955 per year for each child. 

Initial F-1 Students: If a student is applying for his/her own initial I-20 and will be accompanied by dependent(s), he/she needs to be sure to include dependent information (and funding should be adequate) in the appropriate section of the I-20/DS-2019 Request Form in accessVIS.

Continuing F-1 Students: When requesting a dependent I-20 after the student is in the U.S. in F-1 status, he/she needs to submit all of the required forms within Dependent I-20 Request in accessVIS, providing sufficient proof of funding. 

Note: The electronic Dependent(s): Biographical Information form may be submitted multiple times, for each individual dependent requiring an I-20. 


Upon submission of the required documents and sufficient proof of funding, an International Student Advisor will prepare a dependent I-20 marked "for use by dependents".   The F-2 dependent I-20 should be signed by the F-1 student.  Once the dependent has an I-20 Form, he/she must either:

  • Apply for an F-2 visa stamp at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas (except Canadian citizens). Gain F-2 status through entry to the United States by presenting the dependent I-20 Form, passport and F-2 visa stamp (accompanied by any supporting documents) at the U.S. Port of Entry.

  • Or, apply for a Change of Status in the United States. (please meet with an International Student Advisor at VIS for further details)

 

Maintaining the Immigration Status of you and your F-2 Dependent(s):

  • Intake & Check-In: When the F-2 dependent(s) arrives in the U.S., the principal F-1/J-1 student must update complete the Immigration Intake for F-2 Dependents in accessVIS, then bring all I-20 documents and family member passports to VIS for Check-In.

  • Removing Dependents: If the F-2 dependent changes his or her status successfully to an F-1 or another non-immigrant status, the F-1 principal visa holder must have his/her name and dependent expenses removed from the form I-20. To do so, login to accessVIS and complete the electronic Removal of F-2 Dependent request form.

 



Inviting J-2 Dependents:

Each J-2 dependent must have his/her own Form DS-2019.  This DS-2019 Form can be obtained from Visa & Immigration Services (VIS) by the J-1 status holder. The addition of dependents will significantly increase the estimated expenses and will require additional financial support documentation.  Students wishing to request a Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019) for their spouse and/or child(ren) must verify  the availability of an additional $8,955 per year for their spouse and an additional $4,955 per year for each child. 

Initial J-1 Students: If a student is applying for his/her own initial DS-2019 and will be accompanied by dependent(s), he/she needs to be sure to include dependent information (and funding should be adequate) in the appropriate section of the I-20/DS-2019 Request Form.


Continuing J-1 Students:
When requesting a dependent DS-2019 after the student is in the U.S. in J-1 status, he/she needs to submit all of the required forms within Dependent DS-2019 Request in accessVIS, providing sufficient proof of funding. 

Note: The Dependent(s): Biographical Information form may be submitted multiple times, for each individual dependent requiring an DS-2019. 


Upon submission of the required documents and sufficient proof of funding, an International Student Advisor will prepare a dependent DS-2019 marked "for use by dependents".   The J-2 dependent DS-2019 should be signed by the J-1 student.  Once the dependent has an DS-2019, he/she must either:

  • Apply for a J-2 visa stamp at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas (except Canadian citizens). Gain J-2 status through entry to the United States by presenting the dependent DS-2019, passport and J-2 visa stamp (accompanied by any supporting documents) at the U.S. Port of Entry.

  • Or, apply for a Change of Status in the United States. (please meet with an International Student Advisor at VIS for further details)

 

Maintaining the Immigration Status of you and your J-2 Dependent(s):

  • Intake & Check-In: When the J-2 dependent(s) arrives in the U.S., the principal F-1/J-1 student must update complete the Immigration Intake for J-2 Dependents in accessVIS, then bring all DS-2019 documents and family member passports to VIS for Check-In.

  • Health Insurance: Department of State federally mandates all J-1 and J-2 status holders to carry adequate health insurance coverage. The J-1 scholar must purchase insurance for him/herself and his/her J-2 dependents immediately upon arrival in the U.S.  If the J-1 scholar and/or dependents fail to maintain the mandatory health insurance coverage, they will be in violation of federal immigration regulations; will be subject to termination as a participant; and must leave the U.S. immediately.

  • Employment: J-2 dependents are eligible to apply for employment authorization from the USCIS as long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1.

  • Study: J-2 dependents are permitted to enroll in elementary or secondary schools while in the U.S.  Furthermore, regulations do not prohibit dependents from engaging in post-secondary study on a full-time basis, as long as their primary purpose in the U.S. is to accompany the J-1 status holder.

  • Removing Dependents: If the J-2 dependent changes his or her status successfully to an J-1 or another non-immigrant status, the J-1 principal visa holder must have his/her name and dependent expenses removed from the form I-20/DS-2019. To do so, login to accessVIS and complete the electronic Removal of J-2 Dependent request form.
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