It is essential to remember that you must take full legal responsibility for maintaining your status with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). That is, you are responsible for finding out, knowing, and following pertinent regulations. All USCIS forms are available online.

F-2 dependents are defined as an F-1 student’s spouse and unmarried minor children who are under 21 years of age.

F-2 Dependents

  • may enter the U.S. with/after the F-1 student, but never before
  • cannot be employed
  • must have Form I-20 each time they travel outside the U.S.
  • cannot be admitted as a full-time degree seeking student (Exception: Elementary, middle school, & high school students)
  • must leave if F-1 student has been outside U.S. more than 5 months

Inviting an F-2 Dependent

F-1 students may invite a spouse or unmarried children to join them at Mesa Community College by providing following document to IE:

  • Complete the "Adding a Dependent" Application Here
  • Evidence of financial support (bank statement, sponsor letter, etc):
    • $5,000.00 for spouse
    • $2,500.00 for each child
  • Passport copies for each dependent

IE will prepare a dependent I-20 marked "for use by dependents". The dependent(s) will then use the I-20 to apply for an F-2 dependent Visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The following items must also accompany the Visa application:

  • Original or attested true copy of marriage certificate (spouse)
  • Birth Certificate (for each child)
  • Financial Documentation
  • Demonstration of residence abroad
  • Visa application form DS-160 and DS-157
  • Passport for each applicant

When the F-2 dependents arrive in the U.S., the F-1 student must update his/her information to reflect the presence of dependents. Bring all I-20 documents and family member passports to International Education to make copies for our records.

If the F-2 dependent changes his or her status successfully to an F-1, the F-1 principal Visa holder must have his/her name and dependent expenses removed from the form I-20. To do this, stop by IE to request this change on your I-20 by completing the Student Request Form.