The dependent spouse or partner and children of any F-1 student in the United States may be present in the U.S. in F-2 status. Each individual in F-2 status must have their own I-20, with which to apply for a F-2 visa at the U.S. consulate.
The lawful immigration status of all F-2 dependents is connected to the lawful status of the primary F-1 visa holder. If an F-1 visa holder is granted a program extension, all F-2 dependents are granted the extension automatically. When the F-1 student is authorized for post-completion OPT, the F-2 dependents status is also extended through the authorized period of OPT. If the F-1 student/scholar falls out of status, the J-2 dependents are also out of status.
Community Resources for F-2 Dependents
The F-2 Dependents can access many resources on campus to enrich their experience at Notre Dame. A list can be found at Resources for International Spouses.
F-2 dependent spouses or partners can engage in study at an SEVP-certified school in the U.S. as long as they are enrolled in less than a full course of study. F-2 dependents may enroll in a combination of online and in-person classes that is less than a full course of study. If the F-2 dependent spouse or partner determines they would like to study full time, they can apply for a change of status while in the U.S.
F-2 dependent children may attend kindergarten through 12th grade full time.
The F-2 dependents may depart and re-enter the United States with proper documentation, including a valid passport, a valid I-20 and unexpired F-2 visas during the F-1 student's program and during any period of authorized post-completion OPT. The F-2 dependents should verify at the inspection area in the port-of-entry that their passport has been stamped F-2 with D/S and the correct date.
Employment for F-2 Dependents
F-2 Dependents are not permitted to engage in any employment.
If the F-2 dependent wants to apply for a driver's license, the F-1 student must accompany them. Both the F-1 student and F-2 dependent must bring all the required documents, including a signed I-20, a valid passport and visa, proof of residence, and an SSN card or Letter of SSN eligibility. For more information on driving, review Driving in the U.S.
Social Security Number
F-2 dependents are not eligible for social security numbers (SSN). If an F-2 dependent would like to apply for an Indiana driver's license, they can apply for a Letter of Social Security Number Ineligibility and submit that.