How to Add Dependents

F-1 Dependents

Only the spouse and unmarried minor children, those under 21 years of age, of an F-1 student are eligible for F-2 status. An I-20 is issued for dependents who will initially accompany the F-1 student. All family members will have their own SEVIS ID. F-1 students who have initially come alone, but later want their dependents to join them will need to make that request to the International Admission office, along with supporting documents.

Current students can request an I-20 for use by a dependent spouse or child for F-2 status, whether by change of status within the US or for entry from abroad, by submitting a request to international@mtsu.edu. You must submit proof of relationship, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. and proof of financial support.

Change of Status

Dependents in F-2 status are eligible to change status to another non-immigrant visa as long as they and the F-1 student are in status. The required form is the I-539, available on the USCIS web site.

Employment and Education

Dependents on F-2 status are not allowed to work under any circumstances, nor can they engage in any business activity. Spouses may not engage in full-time study. They may be eligible to study part-time, but only for avocational or recreational purposes. F-2 children may study full-time only in elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade). Again, only avocational or recreational college study are permitted.

Travel

F-2 dependents wishing to travel outside the US will need to obtain the appropriate travel signatures on their forms I-20.

J-1 Dependents

Only the spouse and unmarried minor children, those under 21 years of age, of a J-1 student are eligible for J-2 status. A DS-2019 is issued for dependents who will initially accompany the J-1 student. All family members will have their own SEVIS ID. J-1 students who have initially come alone, but later want their dependents to join them will need to make that request to the MT Abroad office.

Change of Status

Dependents in J-2 status are eligible to change status to another non-immigrant visa as long as they are not subject to the Two-Year Home Country Residency Requirement. The required form is the I-539, available on the USCIS web site.

Employment and Education

J-2 dependents can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS in order to be employed in the US. The J-2 may begin employment only after receiving the EAD from USCIS. The I-765 application form can be found at the USCIS web site. There are no restriction on study for J-2 dependents. They can maintain their status only as long as their spouse is in J-1 status, however.

Travel

J-2 dependents wishing to travel outside the US will need to obtain the appropriate travel signatures on their forms DS-2019 from the MT Abroad office.

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