Please note that in requesting to add a dependent spouse and/or minor child under the age of 21 to your F-1 SEVIS record, you are agreeing to have their status linked to yours and thus must accept the financial responsibility of supporting the dependent(s) and maintaining comprehensive health insurance coverage for the dependent(s) for the duration of your F-1 program. Further, as their status is linked to your status, their actions (e.g., inability to maintain status) may directly impact your status and future status as well.
Requesting a Dependent I-20 for the F-2 Visa Application
To request that a dependent spouse or child be added to your F-1 SEVIS record and a dependent I-20 be issued for the visa application process:
If you have been maintaining valid F status and all of the requested supplemental documentation including adequate proof of financial support is provided, an F-2 dependent I-20 will be issued.
An F-2 dependent's status is linked to the F-1 student's legal status and thus will have the same program end date. F-2 dependents may travel outside the U.S. while the F-1 remains in the U.S. just as the F-2 dependents may remain in the U.S. while the F-1 primary travels outside the U.S. as long as F-1 primary’s absence is less than 5 months and everyone is maintaining valid status. F-2 dependent children may enroll in school grades K-12; however F-2 dependents cannot enroll in full-time course of study or a degree program beyond elementary and secondary education (K-12). F-2 dependents cannot obtain employment authorization in the United States.
Once a dependent obtains F-2 status, the Office of International Education will only terminate that status if credible evidence of one of the following is submitted: