Only the spouse and minor children (under age 21) who accompany the F-1 visa holder to the U.S. may receive F-2 dependent status. Their eligibility to stay legally in the U.S., as well as to extend their stay, is contingent upon the F-1 visa holder maintaining his or her legal status and extending his or her program in a timely manner.
All other family members must apply for a B-1 or B-2 visitor’s visa to gain entry to the U.S.
F-2 and Employment
The F-2 spouse and children of an F-1 student are NOT eligible for employment in the U.S. However, they may do volunteer work as long as there is no compensation of any kind and the F-2 dependent is doing a job usually done by volunteers.
F-2 and School
The F-2 child may only engage in full time study if the study is in an elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade). The F-2 spouse and child may engage in study that is avocational or recreational in nature.
An F-2 spouse or F-2 child (post high-school) who desires to engage in full time college or university study must apply for and obtain a change of nonimmigrant classification to F-1, J-1, or M-1 status.
How to Obtain an I-20 for Your Dependent
For each dependent, please provide the following:
- An additional US$5,000 in funds. Please provide a recent translated bank statement.
- A copy of the dependent's passport.
- Proof of the relationship to the F-1 visa holder, such as a copy of a birth certificate or marriage license.