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F-2 Dependents

Adding a New F2 Dependent
(print this information: Adding a New F2 Dependent )

When adding a dependent to an F-1 student’s visa status, a new I-20 must be made for the student and a separate one for each dependent showing the additional expenses for the dependent(s).

To generate the new I-20s for the student and his/her dependents, the Office of International Programs & Services will need the following:

  • Proof of funding in the form of a current bank statement showing you have access to an additional $4,000 for the first dependent and $3,000 for each subsequent dependent.
  • Dependent Information:
    • LAST NAME, First Name
    • Date of Birth (Month/Day/Year)
    • Country of Birth
    • Country of Citizenship
    • Gender
    • Whether Dependent is a Spouse or Child

Obtaining F-2 Visas

An F-1 student’s spouse and unmarried minor children who are required to have a valid passport (or travel document) and visa for entry to the United States must apply for F-2 visas at their home country’s U.S. Consulate or Embassy.  Each applicant must present the consular officer with a dependent Form I-20 and other documents that may be required to demonstrate eligibility for F-2 status, such as proof of relationship to the F-1 student and evidence of financial resources to support the dependents while in the United States.

The consular officer will check the SEVIS information in the consular database, and if the visa application is approved, the Form I-20 is returned to the dependent, for use in applying for admission to the U.S.  When the family members arrive at the port of entry, they present their F-2 visas and the Form I-20 to the immigration inspector.  Upon admitting an F-2 dependent to the United States, the inspector issues a Form I-94, showing the date and place of entry, F-2 classification, and authorization to stay in the U.S. for “Duration of Status”.  This means the F-2 dependents may remain as long as the F-1 student maintains status.

Maintaining Your Status

The spouse and any unmarried minor children (under age 21) of the F-1 student are eligible to enter the United States in F-2 dependent status. F-2 status cannot be granted to parents or other relatives. Each dependent must be in possession of his or her own SEVIS I-20.  F-1 students and their dependents must also carry health insurance including coverage for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.

Entering the U.S. in F-2 Status

F-2 dependents may enter at the same time as the F-1 student, or may join the previously admitted F-1 at a later time.

Each Dependent must present his or her own SEVIS I-20, F-2 visa (except for Canadian citizens) and a passport (not to expire within six months) at the port of entry.


  • Full-time study is not permitted for the F-2 spouse.  Part-time “avocational or recreational study” is permitted. (e.g. English language courses, music/pottery classes).
  • If the F-2 spouse wishes to study full-time he or she must first qualify for admission to a college or university. Then, he or she would need to request to change his or her status to that of F-1.
  • F-2 children may only engage in full-time study at the Kindergarten through 12th grade level.
  • F-2 children who wish to study full-time beyond high school must apply for a change of status to F-1.


F-2 dependents may not accept employment in the U.S.

Social Security Numbers

F-2 dependents are not eligible to receive a social security number.


For more information, contact