Dec 10, 2023  
2021-2022 International Student Handbook 
2021-2022 International Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bringing Dependents to the US

If you are studying at Florida Polytechnic University with F-1 visa status, your spouse and unmarried children (under age 21) are eligible to apply for F-2 visas and accompany you in the United States (US). You must submit the F-1 Dependent Request form to ISS.

All other family members must apply for a B-1 or B-2 visitor’s visa to gain entry to the U.S. For more information on B-1/B-2 visitor visas for other family members, refer to website.

General Details about an F-2 Dependent:

  • Holds legal immigration status as long as the F-1 visa holder maintains status, throughout the program of study and any authorized period of Optional Practical Training (OPT) after completion.

  • May depart and re-enter the US with proper documentation and a travel signature from the DSO.

  • May not work.

  • May not be eligible for Social Security number.

  • May engage in study at a SEVP-certified school in the US as long as they are enrolled in less than a full course of study.

  • Should obtain an updated Form I-20 from the DSO if any information about the F-1 visa holder changes.

  • May file for a change of status (contact ISS) if the adult-dependent wants to study full-time.

F-2 Dependents

The spouse and unmarried minor children (under age 21) of the F-1 student may be admitted into the US in F-2 classification if each dependent presents a SEVIS Form I-20 issued in his or her own name and an F-2 visa.

Documents Needed to Apply for an F-2 Visa

  • Valid passport

  • Photographs

  • F-2 dependent SEVIS Form I-20

  • Visa application fee

  • Visa application forms

  • Supporting documentation, including copies of the F-1 student’s immigration documents, proof of student status, and financial documentation.

Important Information about F-2 Status

  • Once the F-1 student has completed his or her studies and has left the US, the F-2 dependents must leave as well.

  • Dependent children over age 21 are no longer eligible to F-2 status and will need to change to another status such as F-1 (for full-time students) if they wish to stay in the US.

  • At the end of the F-1 program, there is a 60-day grace period during which the F-1/F-2 may stay in the US; once the F-1 primary leaves the US, the F-2 dependents must leave as well.


The F-2 spouse and children of an F-1 student may not accept employment in the US. However, they may do volunteer work as long as there is no compensation of any kind and the F-2 dependent is doing a job usually done by volunteers. 


F-2 dependents of F-1 students in the US may study part-time at the post-secondary level in any certified program at a SEVP-certified school, as long as the study does not amount to what regulations define as full time for an F-1 student [defined in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)].

F-2 dependents may also study full-time in a vocational or recreational study, such as hobbies. F-2 minor children must comply with compulsory education requirements in attending kindergarten through 12th grade.

However, an F-2 dependent who wants to enroll full-time in a course of post-secondary academic or vocational study must apply for and obtain approval to change nonimmigrant status to F-1, J-1, or M-1 before beginning their full-time study.