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Future International Students

Bringing Dependents

F-1 Student Bringing Dependents

Your spouse or unmarried children under 21 may accompany you while you pursue a program of study, research, or teaching in the United States.

If you are an F-1 visa holder, each of your dependents may enter the United States with an F-2 visa.

If your family members wish to visit the United States as tourists, they will need to apply for a B-2 visitor visa. It is customary for the student to write a letter of invitation for their family member(s).

Your children may stay with you on an F-2 visa only until they turn 21. They will need a new visa status to stay in the U.S. after their 21st birthday. Please contact International Student and Scholar Services at least 1 year before their 21st birthday to make plans for obtaining a new status for your child.

Evidence of Financial Support

Whether you decide to bring your family members with you at the time of your initial entry or at a later time, you are required to show evidence of adequate financial support for each dependent.

The additional amount of financial support you must show for each F-2 dependent is shown at the bottom of the Add Dependent form in myPassport.

How to obtain F-2 visas for family members

Follow these steps to obtain F-2 visas for any dependent family members who will be living with you while you are at WSU.
1

Upload the following documents to myPassport.

  • Financial documentation covering the F-1 and all current and requested F-2 dependents (e.g., bank statement, electronic form proof of graduate assistantship, letter from employer or sponsor, etc.)
  • Copy of biographical page of passport

International Student and Scholar Services will add your dependent(s) to your SEVIS record. Then we will issue a new I-20 to you and each of your accompanying dependents.

2

Provide your dependents with the following documents for visa application:

  • Your dependents’ new F-2 Form I-20 (original)
  • Your new I-20 (copy)
  • Your passport biographical page (copy)
  • Your F-1 visa stamp (copy)
  • Your I-94 or copy of front and back side of card
  • Your financial documentation for your F-1 status (e.g., bank statement, proof of graduate assistantship, letter from employer or sponsor)
  • Your letter of invitation of your dependent
  • Financial documentation for all F-2 dependents (e.g., bank statement, letter from sponsor, etc.)
3

Your dependents should contact their local U.S. Embassy/Consular Office and follow the procedures for the F-2 visa application.

4

When your dependents arrive in Pullman, have them check in with WSU International Programs International Student and Scholar Services and provide a copy of each dependent’s immigration documents.

Rights and restrictions while in the United States

While they are in the United States, your dependents will need to abide by certain restrictions regarding employment and academic study.

Employment

F-2 dependents are not allowed to work in the United States under any circumstances.

Social Security

Since only those who are legally allowed to work in the United States are eligible for Social Security benefits, an F-2 dependent may not apply for a Social Security number. However, you may obtain an Individual Tax Identification Number for your F-2 dependents if needed for tax-filing purposes.

Health Insurance

International Student and Scholar Services strongly encourages F-2 dependents to obtain health insurance.

Volunteer Work

F-2 dependents may volunteer under certain circumstances. The employer must obey labor laws, which often prohibit work done without pay by non-students.

International Travel

As long as F-1 students maintain lawful status, their dependents are allowed to travel in and out of country by themselves with proper documentation.

If you are on post-completion Optional Practical Training, your F-2 dependents should carry a copy of your OPT I-20, OPT card, and a letter from your OPT employer in addition to their own immigration documents.

J-1 Student Bringing Dependents

If you have family members who would like to visit the United States for a short time, they should contact their local U.S. Embassy or Consular Office to apply for a B-2 visitor visa.

Medical insurance is required

J-1 students and their J-2 family members are required to be covered by medical insurance while in the United States

How to obtain J-2 visas for family members

Follow these steps to obtain J-2 visas for any dependent family members who will be living with you while you attend WSU. (If WSU is not your sponsor, contact the sponsor directly for instructions.)

1

Submit the following documents to WSU Office of International Programs through mypassport:

  • Copy of passport for each dependent
  • Financial documentation (e.g., bank statement, proof of graduate assistantship, letter from employer or sponsor, etc.)

Whether you decide to bring your family members with you at the time of your initial entry or at a later time, you are required to show evidence of adequate financial support for each dependent. The additional amount of financial support you must show for each J-2 dependent is:

  • US$900 per month for spouse
  • US$500 per month for first chlld
  • US$400 per month for all additional children
2

WSU will add your dependent(s) to your SEVIS record. Then we will issue a new DS-2019 to you and each of your accompanying dependents.

3

Provide your dependents with the following documents for visa application.

  • Your dependents’ J-2 Form DS-2019 (original)
  • Your new DS-2019 (copy)
  • Your passport biographical page (copy)
  • Your J-1 visa stamp (copy)
  • Your I-94 card (copy of front and back side)
  • Financial documentation (e.g., bank statement, proof of graduate assistantship, letter from employer or sponsor)
  • Your letter of invitation
4

Your dependents should contact their local U.S. Embassy/Consular Office and follow the procedures for J-2 visa application.

Check in with WSU upon Arrival

When your dependents arrive at your WSU location, have them check in with International Student and Scholar Services and provide a copy of each dependent’s immigration documents and proof of insurance. Check-in documents are submitted through mypassport.

Rights and restrictions while in the United States

While they are in the United States, your dependents will need to abide by certain rules regarding employment and academic study.

Taking Classes

Your J-2 dependents are allowed to pursue part-time or full-time studies.

Employment

J-2 dependents may work part-time or full-time in the United States only with a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS. However, a J-2 dependent’s employment cannot be used to support the J-1 scholar.

Lawful J-2 dependents may apply for an EAD by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with UCSIS. An EAD can be issued for up to 1 year at a time or for the validity of DS-2019, whichever is shorter. It is possible to apply to extend an EAD.

Social Security

J-2 dependents with a valid EAD may apply for a Social Security number.

Volunteer Work

J-2 dependents may volunteer if their volunteer activities do not displace a paid position.

International Travel

As long as J-1 scholars maintain lawful status, their dependents are allowed to travel in and out of country by themselves with proper documentation.  J-2 dependents do need a valid travel signature from an A/RO in International Student and Scholar Services.

Two-year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement

A J-2 dependent is subject to the same foreign residence requirement as the J-1 visa holder.

If you are granted a waiver of the foreign residence requirement, it will also apply to your J-2 dependents.

Family Visits

If you would like to invite your parents or other immediate family members for a short visit in the United States, you can write a letter of support for their B-2 visa application. International Programs does not write support letters for inviting family to visit.

Your family member(s) should contact their local U.S. Embassy/Consular office and follow the procedures for B-2 visa application.

Leaving the Country

Your J-2 dependents should accompany you outside the U.S. if you will be abroad for more than 1 month.

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