F-2 visas are given the spouse and unmarried minor children of a student who is in the United States on F-1 status. People who have an F-2 visa may enter at the same time as their relative with F-1 status and stay in the US as long as the student maintains their F-1 student visa.
For help with getting an F-1 student visa or applying for a F-2 visa, contact Tucker, Nong and Associates immediately. Our F-2 visa lawyers can make sure you understand your options and advise you how to proceed.
How Do You Get an F-2 Visa?
The person with an F-1 visa is an important part of this process. They will need to work with an immigration lawyer to coordinate with their school and the office that handles international students.
A new I-20 form will be filled out for each dependent. The F-1 visa holder will need to supply documents that prove their relationship for each person who is applying for F-2 status. In addition, the F-1 student will have to show that they have the means to support the people that they bring into the USA as F-2 dependents. Gathering the correct evidence can vary in difficulty and typically depends on the university.
Applying for an F-2 Visa
The process of applying for an F-2 is similar to that of applying for an F-1 visa. You will be required to gather particular evidence and file for a new I-20. The dependents who are applying will need to make an appointment with their nearest United State consulate or embassy. The interviewer may not require children under 14 years old to be present. The applicants should bring all of the documents above, any other documents that are relevant to their visa request, and be prepared for an interview. An F-2 visa lawyer can help with the entire application process and most importantly, make sure no mistakes are made.
It is important to remember that F-2 students can only enter the US with their F1 student or after the F1 student has already entered. They cannot enter the US before their related F1 visa holder does.
Can F-2 Visa Holders Work?
F-2 dependents cannot work in the United States, either part-time or full-time. They are allowed to take certain volunteer positions but not positions for pay. Because they cannot work, they are not allowed to apply for their own social security number.
F-2 visa dependents may, however, apply for their own ITIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. This will be necessary if the F-1 visa holder has to file taxes in the United States.
Can F-2 Visa Holders Go to School?
Spouses who are F-2 dependents are not allowed to take full time classes or to study with the intent of gaining a degree. They are allowed to take part time classes that are recreational or related to their interests and hobbies.
If an F-2 visa holder wishes to attend full time school, they must apply for their own F-1 status and wait to enroll until their new visa is approved.
However, children who have F-2 status are allowed to attend school full time in kindergarten through twelfth grade, in public or private schools. They make not become full time postsecondary students unless and until they have received F1 or M1 status of their own.
Can F-2 Visa Holders Leave the United States?
F-2 dependents may leave the US to travel. If they plan to go to Canada or Mexico for less than 30 days, they may re-enter without a visa due to the automatic revalidation process provided their F-2 status is current and not denied or pending. If they visit another country, they can re-enter the US with a new or unexpired, current F-2 visa.
In addition, F-2 visa holder dependents may remain in the United States while their F-1 visa holder travels outside the country for short durations, as long as the F-1 student will return using the same visa and SEVIS identification.
What Happens to F-2 Dependents When the F-1 Student Changes Status?
F-2 status is dependent on the status of the F-1 relative. If that person loses or changes status for any reason, F-2 status is automatically lost. If the F-1 relative does not lose their legal visa status but rather changes to another form of visa, the F-2 relatives also must change.
This does not happen without new paperwork being completed and filed for each F-2 visa holder. For example, if the student changes from an F-1 to H-1B status, their F-2 relatives must apply for an H4 visa. It is important not to let dependents lose their visa status, as they will have to leave the United States and re-apply from their home country.
How we can help you
If you are interested in pursuing an F-2 visa, contact Tucker, Nong and Associates immediately. Our experienced F-2 visa lawyers know exactly how to manage your case. In addition, Tucker, Nong and Associates can provide assistance with acquiring an F-1 student visas for your spouse.
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