Many students wish to bring their husbands, wives, or children to the USA. Usually, the best way to bring them to the USA is by using an F-2/J-2 visa. The F-2/J-2 visa is a “dependent” visa to bring family members to the USA who will be dependent on the F-1/J-1 visa holder. Many students also want their parents to visit them in the US, which may require a B1/B2 visa. Read below for important information regarding bringing family members to the US.
To qualify for F-2/J-2 status, a spouse or unmarried minor children (under age 21) must establish to the satisfaction of the consular officer and the immigration officer at the port of entry that:
Please submit a Visa Request Form for Dependents along with a copy of the dependents’ passports to OISS. International students and scholars planning to bring family members to the United States must purchase medical insurance for them.
Individuals in F-2 status may not accept employment or engage in business under any circumstances
If an F-2 wishes to engage in study full-time, or to pursue an educational objective, i.e. to qualify for admission to a college or university, then the F-2 should change status to F-1. F-2 dependents may not begin the course of study, even part-time, until the change of status is approved.Â Please contact the OISS for more information regarding F-2 part time study and change of status.
J-2 dependents are eligible to apply to USCIS for employment authorization so long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1. J-2 dependents can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS in order to be employed in the United States. The J-2 may begin employment only after receiving the EAD from USCIS.
Yes, you can study on a J-2 visa. There is no regulatory restriction on study for J-2 dependents
Dependents in F-2/J-2 status are permitted to stay in the United States only to the extent that the F-1/J-1 is authorized to stay. F-2/J-2 dependents maintain their status through the F-1 principal maintaining his or her status. Like the F-1/J-1 students and scholars, F-2/J-2 dependents are required to keep their passports valid at least 6 months into the future.
Many students want to bring non-dependent family, such as parents, cousins, aunts and uncles to the US. These types of family members are not eligible for dependent visas, but may be able to visit you using a tourist visa. Be aware that tourist visa applicants must show proof of their reason for travel. If your family is coming to see you, you must have valid status in SEVIS. If you have family coming to the US on the basis of your current F-1 or J-1 visa, you MUST check with OISS two weeks before the planned visa appointment to make sure your affairs are in order. As with all visa appointments, OISS and the University are not responsible for decisions made by consular officers or port of entry officials. We will do everything we can to provide you the information you need to prove your student or scholar status, but require that you make us aware in advance and that you check your status at least two weeks before your family's appointment.