Adding a F-2 or J-2 Dependent

Who is eligible?

If you are working and/or studying at UT with F-1/J-1 status, your spouse and unmarried children (under age 21) are eligible to apply for F-2/J-2 visas. As long as you maintain your F-1/J-1 status, your dependents may remain in the United States.

Are dependents permitted to work or study while in F-2 or J-2 status?

F-1 visa status:

  • Your spouse is not permitted to work; they may volunteer, as long as the position is unpaid and generally voluntary.
  • Your spouse is permitted to study part-time.
  • Your children (under age 21) may enroll in school from kindergarten through 12th grade.

J-1 visa status:

  • Your spouse and/or children may work full or part-time, but they must apply for and receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services before beginning employment. Please see our J-2 dependent page for more information.
  • Your spouse and/or children may enroll in school and study at the university level.

How do I add a new F-2 or J-2 dependent?

You can add a dependent to your immigration record by completing the Add F-2 Dependent or Add J-2 Dependent request in myIO. 

  1. Proof of funding in the form of a bank statement and/or departmental offer letter that covers your tuition, fees (if a student), and living expenses for you and your dependents for an entire year. The funding document should be less than 1 year old at the time of your appointment.
    • Dependent funding amounts:
      • Spouse = $9,500
      • Each child = $4,000
  2. Official documentation for your dependent(s), such as copies of their passport(s), indicating their:
    • full name
    • date of birth
    • country of birth
    • country of citizenship
    • gender
    • whether they are a child or spouse

What happens next?

Once we receive your request in myIO, an advisor will issue you a new I-20 or DS-2019 for you and your dependents. Your dependents will then present the I-20 or DS-2019 when they apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa in your home country. They should also present copies of your immigration documents (I-20/DS-2019, passport, visa, proof of enrollment) during the visa appointment. In addition to a valid passport and visa, your dependents will need to show their dependent I-20 or DS-2019 upon entry to the United States. If you are requesting a change of status to F-2 or J-2 within the United States, speak to an advisor about the change of status procedure.