F-1 students are eligible to add dependents to their SEVIS record. Dependents will receive I-20s and apply for separate F-2 visas. Dependents include a spouse and children under the age of 21.
F-1 students must present proof of funding for each dependent. Please refer to the Cost of Attendance Calculator or the Affidavit of Financial Support for detailed information regarding dependent fees and accepted proof of funding. F-1 students who receive company and/or government sponsorship must present sponsorship letters specifying coverage of dependent(s) fees.
F-2 status for children automatically terminates at the age of 21. F-2 children who are about to age out must either apply for a change of status or depart the United States.
F-2 dependents are not allowed to work in the United States.
There is no additional SEVIS I-901 fee to add a dependent.
In order to begin the COS process, the F-2 dependent must select one of the following options:
- Apply for a COS during their stay in the United States. F-2 dependents submit their application, including a new I-20 from their respective school to the (USCIS). This process is lengthy, taking an average 6-9 months for a decision. During the review process, the primary F-1 holder must remain in active status, and F-2 dependents must follow the regulations in place. The applicant should not exit the US while the COS application is pending.
- Apply for an F-1 visa at US Embassy/Consulate. F-2 dependents can obtain a new I-20 from their admitted school and apply for an F-1 visa at their U.S. Embassy or Consulate office in their home countries. This process is costly due to travel fees; however, it may not take as much time as the COS application.
For more information on the change of status application process, visit the USCIS website.