Adding a Dependent

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

If you would like to have a spouse and/or children accompany you while you are studying in the US, you will have to complete the Adding a Dependent form online. In doing so you will be issued an I-20 from us which can be used by your dependents to apply for a visa from a US embassy or consulate in your country.

Conditions so that F-2 dependents join you

  • 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 F2 dependent

  1. Gather the necessary documents

    The documents you will need for this process are:

    • A new evidence of financial support.Provide an original letter on official bank letterhead showing that the student (if self-supported) or the sponsor has sufficient funds on deposit to cover tuition and living expenses while in the U.S. The evidence of financial support that you submit must also meet certain financial requirements.

      For more information on the FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS needed please visit this page

    • A copy of the dependents biographical page from passport. Make sure that you submit a valid passport.

    • Proof of relationship:

      • If the document request is for a dependent spouse (husband or wife) you must submit a copy of your marriage certificate with an official English language translation.
      • If the document request is for a dependent child, you must submit the child's birth certificate.
  2. Complete the online application

    Once you have gathered the required documentation log into your ISP . Complete the Adding a Dependent application.

    A couple of things to keep in mind:

    Please answer all items as accurately as possible, read instructions carefully and submit all the required documentation. Any incorrect information or documentation that is submitted without following the guidelines correctly will result in your application being delayed.

    Complete all items. If you do not complete all items, your request will not be processed. If you have a question regarding any item please e-mail us at

    Make sure that you type each dependents name EXACTLY as it is shown in their passport.

  3. Wait until we contact you

    Once you have submitted everything we will review your application. We will let you know if you are missing something.

    After reviewing your application IE will prepare a dependent I-20 marked "for use by dependents". Please come to our office to pick up your document.

    We are open:

    Regular Business Hours:
    Mon-Thu: 8 am – 6 pm
    Fri: 10 am – 5 pm
    Closed Sat and Sun

    Extended Business Hours
    (January and August only):

    Mon-Thu: 8 am – 7 pm
    Fri: 8 am – 5 pm
    Closed Sat and Sun

    Summer Semester:
    Mon-Thu: 7 am – 6 pm
    Closed Fri, Sat and Sun

    Time Zone Converter

Once you have received your dependent's I-20 remember to sign it and write the date that you signed it.

Additional Notes

Keep in mind that your dependents will need to apply for a visa or if they are already in the country, will need to change their status.

 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.

For more information regarding visa documentation and adding dependents please visit this page.