F-2 Dependents

F-2 visas are for the spouses and/or children of F-1 applicants. The F-2 visa enables applicants to accompany a parent (F-1) or spouse (F-1) during the time in which the F-1 visa holder is engaged in studies or optional practical training within the US.

In order to come to the US, your dependents (spouse or children younger than 21 years of age) need to apply for an F-2 visa at the closest US embassy or consulate. To apply for an F-2 visa, the dependents are required to have a completed I-20 form from JWU that lists them as dependents of the F-1 visa applicant.

As an F-1 visa applicant, you must complete the dependent section of the International Student Request form (159K PDF), including the name, date of birth and country of citizenship of each of your dependents, as well as their relationship to you.

The following documents should be presented to the consular officer in support of an application for an F-2 dependent visa:

  • An I-20 form
  • Passports of all applicants
  • For spouse: marriage certificate or notarized copy
  • For children: birth certificate or notarized copy
  • Financial documents to verify that there is enough money available (apart from that of the F-1 principal) to support the F-2 dependent during that individual’s stay in the United States
  • Evidence of intent to return to re-establish life in the home country, such as continued gainful employment, ownership of property, etc.

It is preferable that families apply for the required visas at the same time; however, if the spouse and children must apply separately, both parties must bring with them a copy of the F-1 visa holder's passport and visa, along with all other required documents.

Employment
F-2 visa holders may not be employed in the US.

Education
F-2 visa holders may not engage in full-time or formal programs of study, including certificate or degree-granting programs. However, they may participate in activities that are vocational (related to their chosen career) or recreational (occasional or casual) in nature. If they wish to engage in full-time, post-secondary study, they must apply for and obtain a change of nonimmigrant classification to F-1.

Children holding F-2 visas may participate in full-time study at the elementary and secondary school levels (kindergarten through twelfth grade, often referred to as K-12).