If you have a spouse or children, there is a possibility of the dependents receiving the F-2 visa to come to the U.S. while you are studying. Note that each person who applies for the F-2 visa will need a separate I-20 for F-2 purposes. However, F-2 visa applicants do not need to file a new I-901 SEVIS fee. F-2 visa applicants can use the same SEVIS fee receipt as their F-1 primary family member.
The F-1 family member should provide the following items, either as a scan or as a photocopy:
- The visa data page from the F-1 spouse’s or child’s passport. The visa data page should show the exact name spelling as it would appear in the documents that will be used to cross the border. If there are name change issues due to marriage, the International Student Services Office must wait for the passport to be updated, so that the passport and I-20 will match.
- For a spouse F-2 application, proof of marriage needs to be shown. Proof of marriage can be a wedding license, marriage certificate or similar documentation.
- Since F-2 visa holders are not allowed to work or have graduate assistantships, proof
of funds for a decided amount must be shown to account for planned living expenses
while dependents are in the U.S. There is an additional funding requirement for F-2
- *This does not mean that the F-1 primary family member has to pay the decided amount, but means that the F-1 visa holder must show that he/she is able to handle both their own tuition and living costs as well as the additional living costs of his/her F-2 family member. The funding for the F-1 visa holder’s spouse/child can be from a U.S. bank or from an international bank. If the bank is international, there must be a sufficient amount of identifiable information for the ISS Office to determine the name of the account holder and the date of the document.
When the three items listed above are obtained, the ISS office can begin the process of making a new I-20 for F-2 purposes. The F-2 visa applicant should then make a consulate appointment, where he/she will request an actual F-2 visa. The consulate will require documentation of marriage for spouses and proof of funding.
Note that F-2 children are allowed to attend school for K-12 purposes, but F-2 spouses are strictly limited to part-time enrollment.