Students wishing to bring a spouse or child to the United States on a dependent F-2 (or J-2) visa must obtain an I-20 (or DS-2019) and a facilitative letter from ISSS. Students who wish to bring any other relative for a short visit should write their relative a letter of invitation and provide evidence to their relative that they have enough money to support the relative during the stay in the U.S. Students in either case may ask for a status letter from ISSS to show that they are legitimate students at the University.
- Only the spouse or child(ren) are eligible for the F-2 or J-2 visa status.
- All other relatives, such as mother, brother, sister, father, uncles,
aunts, in-laws, etc. need to obtain a tourist visa (B-2 visa) in order
to visit, even if they plan to live with the F-1 during their stay.
- While an I-20 (or DS-2019) and a letter to the consulate can be provided for the spouse or child of an F-1 (or J-1) student, there is no visa document issued to a student who wishes to invite relatives mentioned in item 2. above.
- Students wishing to invite relatives mentioned in 2. above should write a letter of invitation to their relative and provide a bank statement to the relative to demonstrate that there is sufficient funding available for room, board, and other expenses necessary for the visitor. It is up to the visa applicant (your relative) to show that he or she is not an intended immigrant to the United States and to show that he or she has enough money to live in the United States for the period of the B-2 visa status.
Download the I-20 Request Form.
Instructions for Students Who Wish to Bring Spouse, and / or Dependent Children to the United States on F-2 or J-2 status
- You must apply for a separate I-20 or DS-2019 for your dependents through the ISSS. After obtaining the new I-20 or DS-2019 you must sign the bottom of page one and send the entire I-20 or DS-2019 form to your dependent (or person who will be accompanying your child to the Embassy or Consulate). Keep photocopies of these documents, for yourself.
- ISSS will provide you with a facilitative letter signed by a Designated School Official for your dependent(s), as well.
- Your dependent child or spouse will need to establish to the satisfaction of the consular official that he or she is NOT an intended immigrant to the U.S. He or she should bring evidence that strong ties exist between the visa applicant and the home country. Since every person's situation is different, it is difficult to suggest what kind of evidence should be presented. Having evidence of other close family in the home country, a job, property ownership, etc. is helpful.
- Your dependent child or spouse must demonstrate that there are sufficient funds to provide adequate financial support once he or she arrives in the U.S. Please provide your dependent with bank statements, scholarship or assistantship appointment forms, an I-134 (financial affidavit if funds will be coming from a sponsor in the U.S.), and/or any other original evidence of finances. Your dependent should make this available to the consular official IN ADDITION TO the I-20 or DS-2019.
- Remember that it is better to be over-prepared with documentation than under-prepared. There is never a guarantee that a visa applicant will be successful. If denied, your dependent should find out from the visa official why he/she was denied. This will assist with any future visa application.
Inviting Your Relatives to the United States for a Visit
(Tourist visa: B-2)
Relatives such as parents, brother, sister, aunts, uncles, in-laws, etc. need to obtain a tourist visa (B-2 visa) in order to visit, even if they plan to live with you during their stay.
While a "Certificate of Eligibility" (I-20 or DS-2019) is issued for your dependents (spouse / children), there is no visa document issued to a student who wishes to invite relatives mentioned above.
Students wishing to invite relatives mentioned above, should follow these steps:
1. Write a letter of invitation to the relatives both in English and your native language which includes the following information:
- The reason of invitation (e.g., inviting them to your commencement);
- The length of stay (6 months as maximum);
- The place of stay;
- The source of their financial support during stay.
2. Make a copy of your certificate of eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019).
3. If the funding comes from you, provide a bank statement to the relative to demonstrate that there is sufficient funding available for room, board, other expenses necessary for a tourist.
4. It is up to the visa applicant (your relative) to show that he or
she is not an intended immigrant to the United States and to show that
he or she has enough money to live in the United States for the period
of the B-visa status.
Send the items 1, 2, and 3 to your relatives so that these documents will be presented along with the visa application form at the U.S. Embassy / Consulate.