Adding a Spouse or Child (F-2 Dependents)

Adding a Spouse or Child (F-2 Dependents)

The spouse and unmarried minor children (under age 21) of the F-1 student may apply for F-2 immigration status. To bring your spouse or child to the U.S. in F-2 status, follow the steps below:

STEP 1: Complete the Dependent Immigration Document Request Form*

STEP 2: Obtain Proof of Financial Support. Submit proof of financial support to cover all expenses for both yourself and your dependent(s) for 12 months. Financial support includes tuition and living expenses for you and any dependents in F-2 status. If you are funded by another source, submit a letter of support from your sponsor with original financial documents, such as an original bank statement showing that the funds are available. Note: Financial documents must be in English, state the account holder’s name, type of currency and be dated within 6 months.

Student Type Expense Cost
Costs Associated with Attending YSU Plus Adding Spouse or Child



Room & Board

Books, Fees & Health Insurance








Living Expenses

Books, Supplies, Fees, & Health Insurance











STEP 3: Submit a Complete Request to IPO for an F-2 I-20.

A complete request consists of

  1. The Dependent Document Request Form*
  2. A copy of each dependent’s passport ID page and
  3. Supporting financial support documents.

The new I-20 form(s) will be processed within 3 business days.

STEP 4 (If your dependent is outside of the U.S.): Send the Necessary Documents to your Dependent.

STEP 5: Your Dependent Applies for an F-2 Visa.

Your dependent must then either (a) schedule a visa appointment at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Note: Marriage/birth certificates are not required to issue the I-20 but will be required when your dependent visits the Embassy. Financial documents will also be required at the Embassy, you may wish to request two original copies of financial documents. (b) Apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for a change of status to F-2.

Important information about the F-2 status:

  • Dependents are not required to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee.
  • Once the F-1 student has completed his or her studies and has left the U.S., the F-2 dependents must leave as well.
  • Dependent children over age 21 are no longer eligible to F-2 status and will need to change to another status such as F-1 (for full time students) if they wish to stay in the U.S.
  • At the end of the F-1 program, there is a 60-day grace period during which the F-1/F-2 may stay in the U.S. Once the F-1 primary leaves the U.S., the F-2 dependents must leave as well.

F-2 Employment

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 Study

  • F-2 dependents may study part time at the postsecondary level in any certified program at an SEVP-certified school.
  • F-2 dependents may also study full time in avocational or recreational studies.
  • F-2 minor children must comply with compulsory education requirements in attending kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • 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 before beginning their full-time study.