Office of International Affairs International Student & Scholar Services

F-2 Status for Family Members Coming to the U.S.

An F-1 student’s spouse and children may be eligible for F-2 status.  Other family members are not eligible for F-2 status.  Persons in F-2 status are not eligible for employment in the U.S. although they are allowed to enroll in elementary or secondary school if admitted.  Persons in F-2 status must change to an appropriate student immigration status in order to register as a student at a college or university.  An F-2's immigration status is dependent upon the status of the F-1 spouse or parent.  F-2 dependents must have a dependent’s form I-20.

International Student Counselors at the Office of International Affairs issue I-20 documents for bringing dependents to the U.S.  Students who wish to bring dependents must provide documentation of F-1 status, documentation of financial responsibility for themselves and their dependents, documentation of family relationships, and biographical information on each dependent.

With an I-20 issued for the entry of each F-2 dependent into the U.S., the family members can apply for F-2 visas at a U.S. consulate.  They must be prepared to provide financial evidence and evidence of intent to return home after being in the U.S.  Approval of F-2 visa applications is not guaranteed simply by the fact that the F-1 spouse or parent is in the United States.  With the I-20 and F-2 visas, the family members are eligible to come to the U.S.  Upon arrival in the U.S., the family members are required to report to the Office of International Affairs with their immigration documents.  Current address information for F-2 dependents must be maintained with the Office of International Affairs and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) just as it is for F-1 students.

Questions should be directed to an International Student Counselor at 742-2974.

Application process for Form I-20:
1) Complete the "F-2 Dependent Information" form. (Form available on this web page)
2) Provide documentation of financial responsibility for student’s and dependents’ expenses.  This can be any combination of bank letters and statements, employment letters including those for assistantships, scholarship certificates, letters of credit, or other evidence of financial support.  Evidence must appear credible to both the International Student Counselor and to the U.S. consulate.  Finances must be sufficient for tuition and fees and living expenses for the student and all dependents for at least one academic year.  Documentation must include evidence of health, evacuation and repatriation insurance for the F-1 student; insurance for F-2 dependents is strongly recommended. 
3) Immigration documents establishing F-1 status (passport, I-20, I-94)
4) Evidence of family relationships: marriage certificate, birth certificate for children.
5) Meet with an International Student Counselor to review all documentation.   

Revised: 7/2007

Texas Tech University Office of International Affairs, MS 5004, 742-2974, fax 742-1286