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Bringing Your Family

Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 who are accompanying you to the U.S. during your program of study will enter the U.S. as F-2 or J-2 dependents. 

You can request immigration documents for your dependents when you are applying for your own documents if they are accompanying you, or at a later date if they will enter the U.S. separately. The additional costs for dependents are listed on the financial certificate that accompanies the admissions application.

The dependent request form is available in ISSS Link.

Required documents

Each dependent needs a separate I-20 (F-2) or DS-2019 (J-2) in order to enter the U.S. Dependents should apply for an F-2 or J-2 visa before they arrive at a U.S. Port of Entry.

Insurance, employment, and other restrictions

Federal regulations require J-2 dependents to maintain health insurance for the duration of J-2 status. F-2 dependents are also strongly encouraged to obtain health insurance due to the high cost of health care in the U.S.

Dependents in F-2 status are not, under any circumstances, allowed to be employed in the U.S.

Dependents in J-2 status are eligible to apply for employment authorization through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services after they arrive in the U.S.

Study in the U.S.

J-2 dependents may study in the U.S.

F-2 dependents cannot take classes, even part-time, unless they first change to student (F-1) status. The exceptions to this rule are:

  1. F-2 children engaged in full-time study in an elementary or secondary school, or
  2. F-2 dependents engaged in part-time study, which is avocational or recreational in nature.

If you should need a dependent removed from or added to your official SEVIS record during your stay in the U.S., you can find the appropriate request forms in ISSS Link.