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F-2 Status


The spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 of a student in F-1 status are eligible for F-2 status. Students may submit the following documents to the ISO to request that F-2 Forms I-20 be issued for a spouse and/or children:



The F-1 student must document additional annual funds in the amount's outlined in the

  1. Graduate Student Financial Guarantee Form, and
  2. must also complete an I-20 Request Form.

Study & Employment

Begining May 29, 2015 individuals in F-2 status are eligible to pursue post-secondary education on a less than full-time basis only.  Full-time study requires a change of status to F-1, or another qualifying status.


F-2's are not, however, eligible to engage in any type of employment. If there is any question about whether or not a particular endeavor qualifies as employment, students should consult with the ISO. If there is any remuneration for services, this would almost certainly constitute unlawful employment. Unlawful employment can also be unpaid work.

(see Fact Sheet on Unpaid Internships )

Dependent Status

The F-2 status of spouses and children depends upon the student's F-1 status. If the student fails to maintain F-1 status, the F-2 spouse and children lose their status as well. F-2 spouses and children must also ensure that they maintain a valid passport, valid Form I-20 and valid Form I-94.


Obtaining Status

Dependents eligible for F-2 status may apply for an F-2 visa stamp with their F-1 spouse or parent. Most consulates will schedule F-1 and F-2 visa applications at the same time, but it is important that consulates are informed that there will be accompanying F-2 applicants at the time that a visa application interview is scheduled.

Dependents residing in the U.S. in a qualifying status may also be eligible to change status in the U.S., and, if doing so, should submit a separate Form I-539 with their I-20s. The F-2 Form I-539 should indicate that it is based on the F-1 student's change of status application.The I-539 application should be submitted to the USCIS using the online ELIS system. All dependents may apply to change to F-2 status on the same Form I-539.