F-2/ J-2 Dependents

F-2/ J-2 Dependents

F-1 and J-1 students often wish to bring their spouse and/or children to the U.S. To do so, you will need to provide documentation so that we can issue (an) F-2 I-20(s) or J-2 DS-2019(s) for your dependent(s).

Required documents:

  • Proof of relationship
    • Copy of your marriage certificate (if adding a spouse) or birth certificate (if adding a child). If not in English, the document should be translated by a certified translation service. 
  • Copy of the biographic page of each dependent’s passport.
  • Updated Sources of Funds Form and associated financial proof

Special Note about inviting other family members: Only the spouse and unmarried minor children (under 21 years old) of an F-1 or J1 student are eligible to enter the United States in F2/J2 dependent status. Frequently international students wish to invite their parents or other family members to the U.S. to attend graduation or for a visit. These family members may apply for a B-2 tourist visa. F-1 and J-1 students and scholars will need to write a letter of invitation for their visit to the U.S. embassy.

The Office of International Programs and Services can provide a letter verifying your immigration status. 


A spouse with an F-2 visa is not allowed to study full-time in the U.S. F-2 spouses may only engage in part-time study, but not to obtain a degree. F-2 dependents that are children may only study full-time in an elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through 12th grade). 

An F-2 spouse desiring to engage in full-time study must apply for and obtain a change of non-immigrant classification to F-1 or J-1 status. Most importantly, F-2 spouses and children who wish to study for a degree at a U.S. college must change their status to F-1 before attending any classes.


Dependents of F-1 students may not apply for work authorization in the U.S., as the F-2 visa does not allow it. Dependents of J-1 students can work in the U.S. with proper authorization. This authorization can be applied for once the J-2 has entered the country by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

For more information regarding bringing a dependent with you to the U.S., visit the following website