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F-2 Dependent Spouse & Child(ren)
Only the spouse and unmarried minor children (under age 21) of an F-1 visa holder may apply for F-2 dependent status. Their eligibility to stay legally in the U.S. is dependent upon the F-1 maintaining their legal status.
All other family members must apply for a B-1 or B-2 visitor's visa to gain entry to the U.S.
Important Information about F-2 Status
Once the F-1 student has completed their studies and has left the U.S., the F-2 dependents must also leave.
At the end of the F-1 program, there is a 60-day grace period during which the F-1/F-2 may stay in the U.S. Once the F-1 leaves the U.S., the F-2 dependent(s) must leave as well.
Report any changes to VIS
If your dependent departs the U.S. permanently or changes their immigration status, you must report their departure/change of status to VIS. To do so, submit the Removal of F-2 Dependent request form in accessVIS
Don't forget to report your dependent's arrival
Once your dependent receives an F-2 visa and enters the U.S. as an F-2 or receives the change-of-status approval notice by mail, you must submit copies of their immigration documents (I-20, passport, F-2 visa and I-94 or change-of-status approval notice) to VIS by submitting the Immigration Intake for F-2 Dependents in accessVIS.
- Adding an F-2 Dependent
Adding an F-2 Dependent as a Continuing Student
The spouse and unmarried minor children (under age 21) of the F-1 student may be admitted into the U.S. in F-2 classification if each dependent presents a SEVIS Form I-20 issued in their own name and an F-2 visa.
An F-2 dependent can either be added upon the issuance of the F-1 student's original I-20, or may be added at a later date.
Below are the instructions for adding an F-2 dependent during your program.Step 1: Prepare your documents
To request an F-2 I-20 you will need:
- Proof of full-time course registration. You must be registered full-time or have an approved Reduced Course Load from VIS to be eligible to add a dependent.
- A copy of the biographic page of each dependent’s passport.
- Financial documents. These documents must show that you can financially support yourself and your dependents in the U.S.
- Verification of an additional $9,000 per year for your spouse and an additional $5,000 per year for each child is required. Please review our estimated expenses for F-1 students page.
- If you're in F/J status after graduation and are no longer enrolled in courses, you only need to show funds to cover the estimated living expenses for yourself and any dependents. In most cases you will need estimated living expenses for 1 year.Step 2: Login to accessVIS
Log in to accessVIS by clicking the “LOGIN” button. Enter your NetID and Password.Step 3: Submit the Adding F-2 Dependents eform
Within the eform titled "Adding an F-2 Dependent" you will be required to upload your dependent's biographic page of their passport and answer questions related to your dependent's immigration status. The eform titled "Proof of Financial Eligiblity" asks you to upload your financial documents.Step 4: Allow 7-10 business days for processing
Once you have submitted all forms, an International Student Advisor will review your request. Once we have complete documentation, you will be issued an I-20 indicating that you have dependents and an F-2 I-20 for your dependent(s).
Processing time is 7-10 business days from the date you submit this request.Step 5: Your dependent must acquire an F-2 visa
Once your F-2 dependent has received their I-20 from Stony Brook University, they will need to apply for an F-2 visa at the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate.Step 6: Report the arrival of your F-2 dependent
Once your dependent receives an F-2 visa and enters the U.S. as an F-2 or receives the change-of-status approval notice by mail, you must provide copies of their immigration documents to VIS by submitting the Immigration Intake for F-2 Dependents in accessVIS.
- Change of Status to F-2
Change of Status to F-2
If your spouse or child is already inside the U.S. in another non-immigrant status, there are two ways to change one's status to F-2:
Travel home or outside the U.S., apply for an F-2 visa at a U.S. Consulate, and re-enter the U.S. in the new status.
Submit a change-of-status application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Traveling as an F-2 Dependent
Traveling as an F-2 Dependent
F-2 dependents are not required to travel with the primary F-1. However, the F-2 dependent must carry the following documents required for re-entry to the US:
- Valid passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of re-entry to the US)
- Valid F-2 visa in passport (except for dependents from Canada)
- Form I-20 with a valid travel signature
- Valid for one year if F-1 is currently enrolled student
- Valid for six months if F-1 is currently on approved post-completion OPT or STEM OPT Extension
- Copies of these F-1 primary documents:
- I-20, passport, F-1 visa, I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
- If F-1 is on approved post-completion OPT or STEM OPT Extension, these copies should also include the OPT I-20, EAD card, and proof of current employment or offer letter
F-2 dependents are able to remain in the US without the F-1 as long as the F-1 maintains status and will return to the U.S. after a temporary absence using the same SEVIS ID number.
F-2 dependents who need a travel signature on their I-20 should have their F-1 submit the Travel Signature Request for F2 Dependents in accessVIS.
- Work & Study
The F-2 spouse and children of an F-1 student may not accept employment in the U.S.
F-2 dependents of F-1 students in the United States may study part-time at the postsecondary level in any certified program at an SEVP-certified school.
At SBU, F-2 dependents at the undergraduate level are limited to a maximum of 11 credits, and those at the graduate level are limited to a maximum of 8 credits.
F-2 minor children must comply with compulsory education requirements (Kindergarten through 12th grade). For information about enrolling your child in a public elementary or secondary school, contact your local school district.