This page is intended to provide information for F-2 dependents regarding benefits, eligibility and other information specific to the F-2 visa status.
For additional information and resources about daily life, including topics such as schools, housing and transportation, please visit International Families.
Eligibility & Regulations
- A spouse and unmarried minor children of an F-1 student can be granted F-2 dependent visa status in order to accompany the primary F-1 student to the United States.
- F-2 dependents may also join their primary F-1 student anytime during the F-1 student's study.
- An eligible dependent must present the F-2 dependent I-20 for visa issuance. This I-20 is issued by the DSO of the school that issued the F-1 student's I-20.
- Each dependent must have their own I-20 with a unique SEVIS ID number.
How to Request the F-2 Dependent I-20
The addition of the F-2 within the F-1 SEVIS record will require updated financial documentation to verify the F-1 student's ability to financially support the dependent(s), as well as a copy of each dependent's passport identity page.
The F-1 student should show access to liquid funds in the amounts below:
- Spouse: $4,500
- Per Child: $2,500
When financial documents and dependent passport is available, follow the steps below:
- Log into iStart
- From the iStart homepage: click on F-1 Student Services and submit the Add Dependent e-form.
- After submission, an ISSS advisor will review your e-form submission within 3-5 business.
- Upon approval, ISSS will email an updated F-1 I-20 and the requested F-2 I-20.
Once the dependent has their F-2 I-20, they can make a visa appointment for F-2 visa issuance. After the F-2 visa is issued and valid, the dependent can travel to the U.S.
Within 30 days after the dependent's arrival, the primary F-1 should arrange health insurance. F-1 students insured by Georgia State Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) can apply for dependent insurance coverage at additional cost. If you are covered by a different insurance company, contact your provider to inquire about possible options.
Study in F-2 Visa Status
- F-2 spouses cannot enroll full-time in a degree program; however, study that is avocational or recreational in nature is permitted up to and including a full-time basis.
- F-2 spouses and children can enroll part-time, including part-time enrollment which grants academic credit towards a degree program.
- F-2 children may engage in full-time study at the K-12 (kindergarten - 12th grad of high school) level.
If an F-2 dependent wishes to enroll full-time in a degree seeking program, the F-2 must change their visa status to F-1 prior to full-time enrollment.
Work Authorization for F-2 Dependents
Individuals in F-2 status may not accept employment or engage in business activity under any circumstances.