Family Matters

Dependents are defined as spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21. They may accompany you to Emory following receipt of the required immigration documents. If your dependents will accompany you immediately, immigration documents for dependents should be requested at the time of application for your own documents. However, you may request documents for dependent admission at any point during your stay. The Dependent Request Form is available through ISSS Link. You may find more information on local schools in our section on school-age children.

Each dependent will need a separate I-20/DS-2019 in order to enter the United States. The dependents will need to apply for a F-2 or J-2 visa before entering. Dependents will need the I-20/DS-2019 document and a valid entry visa in their passport in order to enter the United States.

F-1 Students

Dependents of F-1 students are issued Form I-20 in order to apply for the F-2 dependent entry visa. F-2 dependents are not, under any circumstances, allowed to earn income in the United States. F-2 dependents are not permitted to take classes, even part-time, unless they first change to student 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 (e.g. crafts class, etc.)

F-2 dependents are strongly encouraged to obtain health insurance due to the high cost of health care in the United States, but are not required to do so by law.

J-1 Students and Scholars

Dependents of J-1 students and scholars are issued Form DS-2019 in order to apply for the J-2 dependent entry visa. Federal Regulations require J-2 dependents to maintain health insurance for the duration of J-2 status. Dependents in J-2 status are eligible to apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for employment authorization once they arrive in the United States. If your J-2 dependents are interested in working in the United States, please see the J-2 Employment Request Form in the quick links box to the right. J-2 dependents are also permitted to study in the United States.

H-1B Employees

Dependents of an H-1B temporary worker are granted H-4 status. Applications for H-4 status (Form I-539) should be included in the petition for the H-1B worker if the dependents are in the United States. Dependents of H-1Bs who are outside the United States need no separate form to apply for the H-4 visa. The H-1B approval notice and proof of relationship to the H-1B is usually sufficient documentation for the visa application.

Dependents in H-4 status are not eligible for employment. They are permitted to study in the United States. H-4 dependents are strongly encouraged to obtain health insurance due to the high cost of health care in the United States, but are not required to do so by law.