Those who come to the US to study can also bring their families to this country. The USA F2 visa is issued for this purpose. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss topics such as how to apply for this visa, the required documents, costs, and other details.

What are the USA F2 visa requirements?

  • Be the spouse of the person holding the F-1 visa
  • Be unmarried (under 21 years old) children of the person holding the F-1 visa
  • Be financially supported
USA F2 Visa for Dependents of Student Visa Holders

How to apply for the F-2 visa?

An F-2 visa (similar to an M2 visa) is for when the F-1 visa holder gets admission from a SEVP-approved school, the institution will send a Form I-20. The form I-20 contains the purpose of the visa, an approximation of expenditures, and the period of the educational program. The F-1 visa holder should inform the institution that his/her dependents also intend to apply for the F-2 visa. The SEVP school releases a form I-20 for the dependents too. After getting this form, the application procedure for the F-2 visa is similar to other visas.

DS-160 Form is another form that should be completed. You can obtain it online. When you send it, a confirmation page will be generated, which you need to save for later.

Attending an interview that is done at the embassy by a consular officer is an essential part of the pre-visa process. The applicant of a USA F2 visa can schedule an interview simultaneously with the F-1 visa applicant or separately. When scheduled, the applicant will receive a confirmation letter to prove he/she has an appointment at the US embassy.

During the interview, the consular officer inquires about the relationship with the F-1 visa holder and your intentions for going to the US.

The following documents are required for applicants of the USA F2 visa:

  • The current and previous passports
  • Copies of the passport pages
  • Documents showing the applicant’s banking, tax, and career records
  • A photo
  • Interview confirmation letter
  • Receipt of all payments
  • The confirmation page of the DS-160
  • The original Form I-20 and its copy
  • A copy of the F-1 visa holder’s I-20 form
  • A copy of the F-1 visa
  • A copy of the F1 visa holder’s passport (if required)
  • The spouse of the F-1 visa holder must present the marriage certificate. Providing documents such as a wedding album or receipts of wedding spending’s may be necessary.
  • The child’s birth certificate of the F-1 visa holder must be provided.

What is the processing time for documents and visa issuance?

Processing time depends on the workload in the US embassy and other factors.  After the F-2 interview, you probably get a response immediately whether you got the visa or you were denied. However, this process usually takes a few days or weeks. The US Embassy needs time to assess your documents. They will mainly focus on the financial situation to determine whether you can meet expenditures. So if your visa processing is taking too long, be patient.

How much does it cost to petition for the F-2 visa?

The application fee for the USA F2 visa is $160. The application will not be evaluated until this fee is paid. Keep in mind, save the issued receipt after the payment, because you’ll need it later. Depending on the country and embassy you are applying for, additional costs may be required.  The F-2 visa applicant is exempt from paying the SEVIS I-901 fee.

How to renew the F-2 visa?

F-1 visa holders who intend to extend their stay should get a new Form I-20; their dependent will also file Form I-539, which is Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. When the renewal of the F-2 visa, financial evidence, and your relationship with the primary F-1 visa holder is considered.

Can an F-2 visa holder apply for a Green Card?

If the F-1 visa holder can get a Green Card, his/her dependents will also receive a Green Card automatically. Also, you can change the status of the F-2 visa. There are two options for this aim:

  • If you can obtain admission from a SEVP- approved school,  you will have to apply for an F-1 visa.
  • If you have a job offer, your employer can petition for an H-1B visa.
  • If you as an unmarried child under 21 years old turn 21 while in the US, you must petition for another type of visa to remain in the country, because you will no longer be considered as dependent.

Are the F-2 visa holders allowed to work in the country (the USA F2 visa work permit)?

Since the visa process indicates whether the person will be financially funded in the US, the holder of the F-2 visa is not allowed to work in the United States. They can do unpaid works but are not allowed to work.

Can the F-2 visa holders travel outside the US?

If you are entering the US for the first time, you must be accompanied by the F-1 visa holder or travel after his/her. You cannot travel to the US before the F-1 visa holder has been allowed entry into the country. After that, you will no longer need the F-1 visa holder to enter and leave the US.

How to access US healthcare under the F-2 visa?

The F-2 visa holders can access US health care, but the costs of treatment are significantly high. For example, a one-night stay in US hospitals can cost up to $3,000. Therefore, it is reasonable to purchase appropriate health insurance.

In case you are wondering how to move to the US as a teacher, go through this article.

What are the other restrictions on the USA F2 visa?

A dependent visa helps families to remain together in the US, and it has some limitations. Since the F-2 visa holders are not authorized to work, they cannot get the Social Security Number. The holders of the F-2 visa are not permitted to register in academic courses. They cannot also get a Bachelor’s or a Master’s Degree under this visa. They are only allowed to enroll in recreational or vocational courses for entertainment or fun.

Dependents of an F-1 visa holder can not enroll in elementary schools in the US. They can only go to high school under an F-2 visa. They must change their visa status to be eligible for continuing their education.

In case you need to learn how a lawyer can immigrate to the US, read this article.

Let’s sum up…

As explained in this article, the conditions defined for the holder of the USA F2 visa are subject to the terms of the holder of the student visa. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other US student visas like M1 visas as well as ways to immigrate to other countries. In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences in comments is a great help for applicants.

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