F-2 Dependent

What is an F-2 non-immigrant?

An F-2 non-immigrant is the dependent of an F-1 student living in the United States. Spouses and children are classified as dependents. They may remain in the country as long as the F-1 student maintains status.

Who is eligible to obtain an F-2 or Dependent I-20?

  • Any child of an F-1 student under the age of 21
  • A legal spouse

Please note:

If the dependent is already in the U.S. on another visa, the dependent must complete a Change of Status (COS) in order to become an F-2. This packet does not discuss COS. For more information about the COS process, please go to the following website (COS) and schedule an appointment with an advisor.

  • F-2 dependents are not eligible for any paid employment.
  • Children may attend nursery, primary and secondary school while on a dependent I-20.
  • Spouses and children are able to study part time at the college level while on a dependent I-20.
  • Should the spouse or child wish to study full time a change of Status (COS) to F-1 would be required.

Applying for an F-2 or Dependent I-20

In order to apply for an F-2 dependent I-20 with the Office of International Student Services you must submit the following F-2 Dependent Application along with the below documents.

  • Copy of the dependent’s passport
  • Copy of the marriage certificate (if the I-20 is for a spouse) or copy of birth certificate (if the I-20 is for a child)
  • Original financial document, such as a bank statement or pay stub, showing an additional yearly amount of $7,800 for a spouse or $4,000 for each child
  • Original affidavit of support, if the funding comes from a sponsor or relative

The F-1 student must apply on the dependent’s behalf to obtain the I-20. Upon receipt of these documents, ISS will issue an I-20 document for each dependent and a new I-20 document for the student. The student is the signatory for the dependent(s) I-20 document(s). The dependent will use the I-20 document to apply for an F-2 visa.

What should the F-2 bring to the visa appointment?

  • Passport
  • Copy of student’s passport (all pages, including visa and I-94)
  • Marriage Certificate (for a spouse) or Birth Certificate (for a child)
  • Original dependent I-20
  • Copy of student’s I-20
  • Original financial documents (bank statement and affidavit, if applicable)
  • Proof of ties to home country
  • Other documents as required. (See the consulate website for details)

For more information, please schedule an appointment with an advisor.


Contact Information

Office of International Student Services

(201) 692-2743
Metropolitan Campus
(973) 443-8672
Florham Campus