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F2 Dependent Visa Overview

The F2 Visa is a non-immigrant (temporary) visaF2 Dependent Visa that authorizes the dependents of the F1 visa holders to enter into the United States. The F1 visa is a foreign student visa issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This non immigrant category is valid usually for the period of study, including grace period. An F-1 student must obtain an employment authorization document (a work permit) before beginning any off-campus employment.

The F-2 visa is available for spouse and minor children of the F-1 visa holders. An F2 dependent visa holder can stay in the United States as long as the F1 visa holder remains in lawful status. To be exact, F2 holders lose their status once the principal applicant loses F1 status. F-2 visa holders are also allowed to change their status in the country.

One can enjoy the following privileges on F-2 visa:

  1. The F-2 holder can enter the country with his/her spouse or join him/her later.
  2. The F-2 holder can travel in and out of the country, or stay in the country continuously as long as he/she maintains a valid status.

Employment Regulations

Under any situation, individuals holding F-2 visa status are not permitted to earn income in the U.S. To be exact, an F-2 visa holder can not accept any employment. If he/she wishes to work in the country, he/she must obtain a work visa, which is a temporary approval to live and work in the U.S. Aliens who take up employment without the proper visa are breaking the rule and may be expelled.


As an F-2 spouse, you are not allowed to join a full-time university class. Also, you are ineligible to participate in part-time courses toward the completion of a degree program. But, the F-2 children can participate in full-time elementary or secondary study (kindergarten through twelfth grade.)


In order to apply for an F-2 visa, the dependents must have the following:

  1. A valid passport.
  2. Proof that F-2 applicants and/or their spouse have sufficient financial resources to meet all of their expenses while in the USA. For example, bank statements, affidavits of support, etc.
  3. A valid Form I-20 or DS-2019. This form should be submitted to the International Office with all required certification. The issue date on these forms needs to be after the date of marriage in order for the spouse to apply for a visa.
  4. A marriage or birth certificate showing the relationship to the F-1 student.

Where to apply for F2 visa?

  • If the applicant is currently in the US in a lawful status, submit the visa application to a USCIS field office.
  • If the applicant is outside the US, submit the visa application to the nearest US Consulate where he/she resides

Processing Time and Filing Fee

In general, F-2 visa issued on the same day the visa application is made. The visa approval is in the form of a stamp placed in the applicant's passport.

The applicant must pay a non-refundable application fee (CIS filing fee) of $190.00. This fee covers the managerial costs of providing services to the individual. Checks should be made payable to USCIS or Department of Homeland Security.

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