Some F-1 students wish to bring their spouse and/or children to the U.S. Learn about F-2 status and what you need to do to obtain F-2 I-20's for your dependents.
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.
Once the F-1 student has completed their studies and has left the U.S., the F-2 dependents must also leave.
Dependent children over age 21 are not eligible for F-2 status and will need to change to another status such as F-1 (for full time students) if they wish to stay in the U.S.
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 dependents must leave as well.
If your dependent departs the U.S. permanently or changes their immigration status, you must report their departure/change of status to ISS. Please email email@example.com so that we can remove them as a dependent from your record.
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, as long as the study does not amount to what regulations define as full time for an F-1 student. At UB, F-2 dependents are limited to a maximum of 11 credits.
F-2 dependents may participate in avocational or recreational activities. F-2 minor children must comply with compulsory education requirements (Kindergarten through 12th grade).
If an F-2 dependent wants to study full time at the postsecondary level they must apply for and receive approval to change nonimmigrant status to F-1, J-1, or another status allowing full-time study before beginning their full-time study.
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 his or her own name and an F-2 visa.
In order to obtain I-20's for your dependents, you will need to submit the documents below to ISS on UB Global. We will then create a new I-20 for you (indicating that you have dependents) and F-2 I-20's for your dependents.
Although ISS does not require copies, you will be required to show valid a marriage certificate and/or birth certificates when applying for an F-2 dependent visa, or submitting a change of status application to USCIS.
If your spouse or child is already inside the U.S. in another non-immigrant status, there are two ways to change ones status to F-2:
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 ISS using the Step 3: F-2 Immigration Documents e-form on UB Global.