F-2 Dependents

F-2 dependents are defined as a spouse or an unmarried minor child (under 21 years of age) of an F-1 student. 

F-2 dependents remain in status only as long as the F-1 from whom the status is derived remains in valid F-1 status (and only until attaining age 21 if a dependent child).

Important Restrictions

F-2 Study Options

dependent study options
Dependent TypeAdmission TypeLevel of StudyPermitted Study
(see definition below)
F-2 children* onlyElementary or Secondary EducationGrades K-12Full time or Part time
(although part time is rare)
F-2 children
& F-2 spouse
KU Applied English Center (AEC) Only Admission (not admitted to a degree program)Levels 1, 2, 3
(recreational English)
Full time or Part time
Levels 4 & 5
(if any course at either level)
Part time ONLY
F-2 children
& F-2 spouse
Degree or non-degree admission at the college/university level (including students still taking some/all AEC courses): Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD, non-degree certificateAny level AEC course
(Level 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5)

Degree or non-degree courses
Part time ONLY

If you are limited to part time enrollment based on the above chart and you wish to enroll full time, you must be approved a change of status to F-1 before you begin a full course of study.

*F-2 children: unmarried and under 21 years old.

Full Time/full course of study definition:

  • 12 credits or more for AEC students;
  • 12 credits or more for undergraduate students;
  • 9 credits or more for graduate students

Part time study definition:  any number of hours BELOW full time as defined above.


F-2 Employment

F-2 dependents are not eligible for any employment in the US.

F-2 Travel

  • Can enter the US with or after the F-1 non-immigrant, but never before
  • Once in the US, must have a properly signed F-2 Form I-20 (request a travel signature at ISS) along with a valid passport and F-2 visa to travel abroad and re-enter the US
  • May not remain in the US after the F-1 student is absent from the US unless the absence is temporary

Inviting an F-2 Dependent

Request a Dependent F-2 I-20

Log into iHawk and select "F-1 Student Services"--> “I-20 Requests”. Click on "Start a New Request" and select "I-20 Add Dependent(s)" to complete and submit the request.

What you will need:

  • Dependent’s passport ID page(s)
  • Verification of financial ability:
    • KU Funding: If you have a GA/GRA/GTA, Lecturer position, fellowship or departmental scholarship, you must provide the name and email address of the departmental staff person who can verify the salary and benefit information.
    • Other Funding (ex. personal, family, home government): Upload current evidence of financial support for yourself and your dependent(s), for at least one year of attendance (or until the anticipated completion of degree, whichever is shorter). For the minimum amount, refer to your specific major/program’s estimated cost of attendance. Don’t forget to add the cost for dependents (= amount listed under ‘Dependent Expenses’ at the bottom of the cost information for your program, multiplied by the number of dependents).

When can I come to ISS to process the Dependent I-20 request?

Monitor the status of your request in iHawk. When the e-Form shows "Pending Review" status, your request is ready for review.

Come to the ISS office and meet with an immigration advisor during walk-in advising hours to process the Add Dependent request or call the ISS office to make an appointment with an immigration advisor.

An ISS advisor will prepare the necessary SEVIS dependent I-20(s). The student's dependent(s) will then use the I-20(s), marked "for use by dependents", to apply for an F-2 dependent visa at a US embassy or consulate abroad (or apply for a change of status).