If you are currently in the US in F-1 status or will enter the US in F-1 status, your spouse and children are welcome to join you in F-2 dependent status.
F-2 Visa Requirements
To apply for an F-2 visa, please be sure to check your Embassy’s webpage, but this list of documents is commonly required:
- DS-160 visa application and fee, and any required photos as determined by the individual Embassy
- F-2 I-20 produced by the school the F-1 student will attend
- Proof of relationship (spouse or child-parent)
- Proof of available funds to cover the dependent’s expenses (see more details below)
- Proof of F-1 student’s valid status:
- copy of F-1 student’s I-20
- copy of F-1 student’s I-901 SEVIS fee receipt
- copy of F-1 student’s passport and F-1 visa
- copy of F-1 student’s I-94 IF they are already in the US
- copy of F-1 student’s transcript IF they are already in the US
Please note your F-2 dependent does NOT need to pay their own SEVIS fee. Their I-20 is connected to yours, so your fee covers their I-20 as well.
The dependent can schedule an F-2 visa appointment at a US Embassy and present these documents during their interview to prove that they are the spouse or child of an F-1 student, and will have the required funds to be financially supported while in the US.
F-2 I-20 Requirements at UMBC
To create an F-2 I-20 for your spouse or children, we will need:
- A copy of each person’s passport
- Proof of funds available for each person (details can be found here, under “I-20 Requirements”)
If you are currently abroad, you can have the F-2 I-20’s shipped to you using our Shipping Service. If you are in the US, please let us know the best address to mail your F-2 I-20’s, or stop by to collect them once they are ready if you are on campus.
F-2 Rules and Regulations
While in the US in F-2 status, your family will have a few rules they will need to follow.
- An F-2 individual cannot work for pay in the US
- An F-2 individual cannot pursue a degree (F-2 children can attend public school through Grade 12) – an F-2 must change their status to F-1 if they want to pursue a degree in higher education. UPDATE: As of May 29 2015, F-2 individuals may enroll in courses, which can be part of a degree program, PART-TIME ONLY without changing to F-1 status. (citiation)
- Your F-2 dependents must have health insurance at all times. You can choose which insurance provider you prefer.
They also have great flexibility with travelling abroad, and can stay in the US as long as your I-20 is valid, but can also choose to leave at any time, for a short or long time (up to 5 months) away, and can return again as long as their F-2 visa and F-2 I-20 are valid.
The F-2 I-20’s are connected to your I-20, so if you lengthen, shorten, or add OPT to your I-20, your F-2 will get a new I-20 with this adjustment as well.