Dependents (F-2 Visa Status)
- F-1 principal visa holders can arrange at almost any time during their studies or while on OPT to have a spouse, and/or children to come to the U.S. on their own visa status, called an F-2 dependent visa.
- Each family member will be issued an I-20 that must be signed by the F-1 student. The I-20 will then be used to apply for an F-2 visa stamp (if abroad) or a change of status to F-2 (if already in the U.S.).
- When arriving with or approved for F-2 status, family members will each receive an I-94 card stamped “F-2” and be legal to remain in the U.S. or leave/re-enter the U.S. as long as you, the F-1 principal visa holder, are in your program or on OPT. For travel abroad, dependents also require a signature from a Mount St. Mary’s Designated School Official (DSO) on page three of their I-20.
- Family members on an F-2 dependent visa status cannot work or attend a formal academic program at a college or university.
- Children on F-2 status may attend school full-time from kindergarten to the 12th grade only.
- To change from F-2 status to another visa status, the family member must obtain the required documents for that status and file an application to USCIS or leave the U.S. and apply for that status at a U.S. consulate. Dependents on F-2 status cannot begin any study or employment related to the new status until new status has been granted.
- Family members on F-2 status are allowed to pursue informal or incidental coursework for personal interest or recreation and may participate in publicly advertised volunteer programs that do not include a competitive selection process.
- The appropriate status for the purpose of a short-term visit is the B1/B-2 tourist visa.
- To request dependent status (F-2 Visa Status) for a spouse or child, you will need to print out the request, complete it, attach the required documentation and mail it directly to the Registrar's Office. You can access the request by clicking here.
Note that this form should not be completed for fiancés, parents, friends, or other relatives. Fiancés, parents, friends, and other relatives must apply for the B-1/B-2 tourist visa in order to visit the United States.
Please note that information on this website is not comprehensive and is subject to change at any time by federal regulating agencies.