Dependents - F-2

F-2 - Dependent of F-1 Students

For immigration purposes, dependents are defined as a spouse or unmarried, minor (under age 21) children. In order to accompany the F-1 student, the dependent must obtain an F-2 Form I-20, and either apply for an F-2 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, or, if in the U.S. in another status, submit an application for a change of status to the USCIS. 

Documentation of the legal relationship between spouses* (i.e. official marriage certificate) or parent and child (i.e. official birth certificate or legal adoption papers) must be presented during the visa application process or included in the change of status application.  
*In order for same-sex spouses to be eligible for F-2 status, the marriage must be recognized in the place of celebration.

Other family members who do not meet the eligibility requirements for F-2 status, but wish to accompany the F-1 student may wish to explore possible alternative immigration options at the U.S. Department of State website. 

Requesting F-2 Form I-20

In order to request an F-2 Form I-20, the F-1 student must submit the following documentation to OISSS:

1. Completed Dependent Request Form
2. Copy of passport biographical page for each individual dependent
3. Copy of Marriage Certificate with English Translation (For F-2 Spouse)
4. Financial documentation* showing ability to cover dependent expenses in the following amounts:
     • Dependent Spouse: $6,490 USD per year ($540/month)
     • Dependent Child: $4,560 USD per year for each child ($380/month)

* Financial documents can be in the form of a bank statement or bank letter in English or with official English translation issued within the last 6 months.

Processing Time: 10 business days


Limitations on F-2 Work and Study

  • F-2 dependents are NOT allowed to work or engage in business activities at any point during their F-2 status.
  • F-2 dependents can enroll in classes part-time, but are required to change to F-1 status to pursue a degree full-time. 
  • F-2 minor children can engage in full-time study at the K-12 level.