Frequently Asked Questions on International Dependents on F-2 or J-2 Status

What if my spouse/child is already inside the U.S?
If a family member is currently on a different visa status (other than F-2 or J-2), they may need to change their visa status by exiting the U.S. and applying for an F-2 or J-2 visa, or they may need to apply to change their visa status. You will need to contact an international student or scholar adviser for a “change of status” appointment to discuss this further.

What if I am not married yet?
We can still issue the immigration document for your spouse, but you will need to show your marriage certificate to the visa officer when your dependent is applying for the F-2 or J-2 visa.

What if my family member will turn 21 years of age while they will be my dependent?
They may later need to apply to change their status to an independent visa status (like an F-1 or J-1 visa) or depart the United States and return home before they turn 21 years of age.

What if my F-2 spouse would like to study full-time within one year of their arrival? We recommend you carefully think about the purpose of your dependent’s visit. If your dependent really wants to study full time, they would be best to apply for their own F-1 visa. If they want to study full-time after joining you as an F-2 dependent, we recommend they apply for the F-1 visa abroad, compared to applying for a change of status within the United States