Only the spouse and unmarried minor
children (under 21 years old) of an F-1 student are eligible
to enter the United States in F-2 dependent status. Each
dependent must receive their own I-20 if they wish to
obtain an F-2 visa and enter the U.S. in F-2 status.
Conditions of F-2 Status
F-2 dependents may remain lawfully
in the U.S. as long as the F-1 student is maintaining
F-1 status. However, dependents may not accept
employment in the U.S. The F-2 spouse may not engage
in full time study, and an F-2 child may only engage
in full time study if the study is in an elementary or
secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade). F-2
dependents may engage in study that is avocational or
recreational in nature (e.g. one English course or a
sports or music/art class).
Requesting an I-20 for a Dependent
If your dependents have not already
been issued their own I-20 documents and you wish to
bring them to the U.S. in F-2 status, you must request
a new I-20 for each F-2 dependent.
Entering the U.S. in F-2 Status
Dependents are eligible for admission
to the United States in F-2 status when they either accompany
the F-1 student into the U.S., or wish join the F-1 student
who has already been admitted into the U.S. in F-1 status. Dependents
must each present a valid I-20, a valid F-2 visa (except
citizens of Canada) and a passport that is valid at least
6 months from the date of entry.
Changing Dependents to F-2
Status When They Are Already in the U.S.
If you are a Boston University F-1
student and your dependents are already present in the
U.S. in another non-immigrant status, the ISSO will assist
you to change your dependents to F-2 status. However,
if they have imminent plans to travel out of the U.S.
before their current nonimmigrant status expires, they
can follow the above instructions for "Entering
the U.S. in F-2 Status."
Extension of Stay for F-2 Dependents
An F-2 dependent's permission to
remain in the U.S. is automatically extended when the
F-1 student is approved for a Program
Extension or for Optional
Practical Training following their completion
Other Family Members
If other members of an F-1 student's
family, including children over the age of 21, wish to
enter the U.S. temporarily to visit the student in the
U.S., they may enter on a B-2 tourist visa. Boston University
F-1 students may request a
letter of invitation from the ISSO to send
to a relative to assist them with applying for a B-2