Adding/Inviting F-2 Dependents

Only the spouse and unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) of an F-1 student are eligible for F-2 dependent status. Each F-2 dependent must have his/her own Form I-20.  The addition of dependents will significantly increase the estimated expenses, so the F-1 student must provide adequate additional financial support documentation. The DSO will then issue a Form I-20 for each of your dependents when the DSO receives your request that your dependents will be accompanying you to the United States.

For Initial or incoming F-1 students, if a student is coming accompanied by dependents, he/she needs to include accurate information of each dependent in the application or in a request letter to our DSO. The information (as it appears exactly on dependent’s passport) should include the following

  • Last (Family) name
  • First (Given) name
  • Gender
  • Relationship to F-1/J-1 student
  • Date of birth
  • Country of birth
  • Country of citizenship


For continuing F-1 students, he/she needs to make an appointment with our DSO and request a dependent I-20.

To request F-2 I-20, You must be legal status and provide the following to your DSO:

  1. Photocopy of passport biographical page of each dependent
  2. Additional proof of funding or bank statement covering at least $3,500 for spouse and $2,000 per child
  3. Copy of your marriage certificate (if adding a spouse) or birth certificate (if adding a child).  If this document is not in English, it must be translated by a certified translator.

The F-2 dependent I-20 should be signed by the F-1 student.  Once the dependent has an I-20 Form, he/she will be able to apply for an F-2 visa stamp at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

To apply for US F-2 Visa, the following documentation is needed (F-2 dependents are not required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee):

  • Passport (both original and photocopies)
  • Photographs (check on requirement from the Embassy website, US visa photographs)
  • Original F-2 Dependent SEVIS Form I-20 and one copy
  • Visa application confirmation (DS-160)
  • Visa fee payment receipt
  • Marriage certificate
  • Supporting documentation, including copies of F-1 immigration documents:
    • course registration for enrollment (if F-1 is a continuing student)
    • copy of F-1’s I-94 (if F-1 is a continuing student)
    • copy of F-1’s passport and visa stamp (if F-1 is a continuing student)
    • copy of F-1 I-20,
    • Financial support document
    • Wedding pictures/album and some of your daily life pictures.
    • Original birth certificate if F-2 is a child.


If approved for the visa, the F-2 dependents may join the F-1 student for part or all of the F-1’s stay as long as the F-1 maintains his/her legal status.


The F-2 spouse and children of an F-1 student may not accept 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 dependents of F-1 students in the United States may study part time at the postsecondary level in any certified program at an SEVP-certified school, as long as the study does not amount to what regulations define as full time for an F-1 student [defined in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)].

F-2 minor children are eligible to enroll in full-time studies in elementary or secondary schools.

An F-2 dependent who wants to enroll full time in a course of postsecondary academic or vocational study must apply for and obtain approval to change nonimmigrant status to F-1, J-1 or M-1 before beginning their full-time study. Please click here for information on changing F-2 to F-1.