The United States attracts large numbers of international students each year. Students come to the U.S. for the high quality education, the international value of this education and job opportunities in the U.S. upon graduation. Approximately 1.1 million international students were enrolled in U.S. institutions in the academic year 2019-20. The F1 visa is a student visa that is granted to international students who want to attend educational institutions in the United States. The F2 visa is meant for the dependent spouses and children of F1 visa holders. This is in order for the F2 visa holders to be able to join the F1 visa holder in the U.S. Those looking to get an F2 visa can read on for the process and requirements of this visa.
What is the F2 Visa ?
The F2 visa is meant for the dependent spouses and children of F1 visa holders. Children have to be unmarried and below 21 years old. This visa enables the F2 visa holder to join the F1 visa holder in the US. This is for as long as the F1 visa remains valid.
- Be the spouse of an approved F1 visa holder, or
- Be the unmarried child under 21 years old of an approved F1 visa holder
- Have the financial means to support the family during your stay in the US
F2 Visa Requirements
- Your current and previous passports.
- Photocopies of your passport pages.
- The DS-160 confirmation page.
- Proof of financial stability. You can use bank or tax records, employment pay slips, etc as proof.
- A USA Visa Photograph. The photo must be taken within the last six months.
- Interview confirmation letter.
- The receipts which prove you have paid the necessary fees.
- The DS-160 confirmation page.
- Your original Form I-20 and one copy.
- A copy of the F1 visa holder’s I-20 form.
- A copy of the F1 visa (if applicable).
- If you are applying separately, the copy of the F1 visa holder’s passport.
- Original marriage certificate if you are the spouse of the F1 visa holder.
- Genuine marriage proof such as:
- Wedding album.
- Wedding guest list.
- Receipts of wedding spendings.
- Receipts of honeymoon trips.
- If married at the registrar, submit the wedding affidavit and pictures of you and your spouse with the wedding witnesses.
- Original birth certificate if you are the child of the F1 visa holder.
- Get a Form I-20.
2. Fill in Form DS-160 online.
3. Pay the visa fees.
4. Schedule your visa interview.
5. Gather and complete your F2 Visa document file.
6. Attend your interview.
Form I – 20
Once the F1 visa holder is accepted into a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) institution, the institution gives out a form I-20. The form I-20 gives the details of the purpose of the visa, an estimate of expenses, and the time the educational program lasts. For the dependents of the F1 visa holder to get an F2 visa, the F1 person needs to inform the SEVP institution that the dependents will also be applying for the visa.
With this information, the SEVP institution will also give out a form I-20 for the dependents as well. Each person who wants to apply for an F2 visa must have a form I-20 to qualify for it. After getting this form, the application procedure follows similar procedures to other visas.
Filling Form DS-160 Online
The DS-160 form must be submitted online with all the necessary information. When you submit it, the page will generate a barcode and confirmation page which you need to retain for later on.
The F2 visa has an application fee of $160. You must pay this fee in order to proceed with the application. After the payment is made, you will get a receipt that proves it and you need to save it for later. There might also be other fees depending on the country or US Embassy you are applying from, such as visa issuance fees or reciprocity fees.
The F1 visa holder is responsible for also paying the SEVIS I-901 fee. The F2 visa applicant is exempt from this fee.
Please check  US Visa Application Fees – How Much Does a US Visa Cost? for further questions on fees.
Schedule your Visa Interview
The F2 and F1 applicants can apply at the same time or at separate times. If applying at the same time, you can schedule the visa interview at the same time. This is recommended. If you are applying separately then you can schedule your own visa interview. Once scheduled, you will receive an interview confirmation letter which you will show the U.S embassy officers in order to prove you have an appointment.
F2 Visa Interview Questions
You must prepare all your documents and arrive at your interview on time. The questions will be about your relationship with the F1 visa holder. You will also be questioned about your intentions for your time in the U.S. If the visa interviewer suspects that you are withholding information or that you intend to violate visa rules, your visa will be denied.
Processing times are variable. You may get a response immediately after your interview informing you whether you got the visa or were denied. Typically, you will have to wait a few days or weeks for a response.
To check the status of your application please click CEAC Status Visa Check: Check your US visa status online.
Since the F2 visa is directly related to the F1 visa, it will have the same validity. If your spouse is on an F1 visa and is allowed to stay in the US for 2 years, your visa will also have a validity of 2 years.
Can F2 Visa Work in the United States?
Work is not permitted on this visa.
Can F2 Visa study in the United States ?
Full educational degrees are not allowed on this Visa.
US Visas: All You Need to Know about a US Visa for Indians
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The f2 visa is linked with the F1 visa. The F2 visa will be valid for as long as the F1 visa is valid for.
No, an F2 visa holder cannot work in the United States.
No, an F2 visa holder cannot pursue a full educational degree in the U.S.
The visa application costs $160.