The spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 of a student in F-1 or J-1 status are eligible for either F-2 or J-2 status. Students may submit the following documents to the ISO to request that F-2 Forms I-20 or J-2 Forms DS-2019 be issued for a spouse and/or children:
The student must document additional annual funds in the amount's outlined in the
- Graduate Student Financial Guarantee Form, and
- must also complete an I-20 Request Form or J-2 Request Form.
Study & Employment
Individuals in F-2 status are eligible to pursue post-secondary education on a less than full-time basis only. Full-time study requires a change of status to F-1, or another qualifying status.
F-2s are not, however, eligible to engage in any type of employment. If there is any question about whether or not a particular endeavor qualifies as employment, students should consult with the ISO. If there is any remuneration for services, this would almost certainly constitute unlawful employment. Unlawful employment can also be unpaid work.
The F-2 or J-2 status of spouses and children depends upon the student's F-1 or J-1 status. If the student fails to maintain status, the spouse and children lose their status as well. Spouses and children must also ensure that they maintain a valid passport, valid Form I-20 or DS-2019. J-2 spouses and children must also maintain appropriate health insurance coverage.
Dependents eligible for F-2 or J-2 status may apply for an F-2 or J-2 visa stamp. Most consulates will schedule visa application appointments for family members at the same time, but it is important that consulates are informed that there will be accompanying F-2 or J-2 applicants at the time that a visa application interview is scheduled.
Dependents residing in the U.S. in a qualifying status may also be eligible to change status in the U.S., and, if doing so, should submit a separate Form I-539 with their I-20 or DS-2019. The F-2 or J-2 Form I-539 should indicate that it is based on the student's change of status application. All dependents may apply to change to dependent status on the same Form I-539.