Who is Eligible for an F-2 Visa?

family traveling

Many international students dream of achieving a higher education at a college or university in the United States. However, leaving behind a loved one to pursue your dreams is difficult. If you hold an F1 student visa, it’s crucial to understand that you can bring your dependents with you on an F-2 visa. An F-2 visa allows dependents of F-1 student visas to move to the U.S. and reside with the F-1 visa holder while they complete their degree program. Essentially, this visa helps keep families together. Please continue reading to learn the eligibility requirements for an F-2 visa and how a proficient Middlesex County, New Jersey, Family Immigration Lawyer can help guide you through each phase of the process ahead. 

What is the F-2 Dependent Visa?

The F-2 dependent visa allows the family of F-1 student visa holders to reside in the U.S. while they pursue their studies at an approved U.S. college or university. Therefore, if you are an international student enrolled at an educational institution, you can petition for an F-2 visa so your loved ones can join you in the U.S. To be eligible for this visa, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a spouse of an approved F-1 visa student visa holder
  • Be an unmarried child under the age of 21 of an F-1 student visa holder
  • Have the financial means to support your dependents during your stay in the U.S.

It’s crucial to understand that only the spouse and unmarried minor children of an F-1 foreign national may receive F-2 dependent status. Their eligibility to remain in the U.S. is contingent upon the primary visa holder maintaining their educational program. All other family members must apply for a B-1 or B-2 visitor’s visa to gain entry to the U.S. Eligible applicants can file a petition with the primary visa holder or later. Ultimately, the eligibility for this visa is based on the status of the F-1 visa holder.

How Do I Apply?

Before you can apply for your dependents to come to the U.S., you must apply to a university or college approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and obtain an F-1 visa. From here, you can apply for an F-2 dependent visa by completing Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.” If you submit your petition from abroad, you must file Form DS-160, “Nonimmigrant Visa Application,” at the U.S. Consulate. Each dependent you request a visa must pay a $160 application fee. After filing your petition, you will schedule an interview at your home country’s U.S. Embassy or consulate. Your dependents must bring enough evidence to demonstrate their relationship with the F-1 visa holder.

If you are seeking an F-2 visa for your loved ones, please don’t hesitate to contact a compassionate lawyer from the Law Offices of Aditya Surti, LLC, who can help you take the necessary steps to keep your family together.

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