F2 Visa: Visa For Depenedents of F1 Visa Holders

What is F2 Visa?

The F2 U.S visa is a dependent visa on the F1 Visa. It a Visa which is issued to the dependents of the F1 visa holder to enable them to accompany the F1 visa holder to the United States. Dependents include spouses or unmarried children under the age of 21years. It is important to know that the F1 visa holder is issued this visa to go and study, they might be permitted in some circumstances to work but the primary motive is studying. They can attend any level of education from elementary to graduate school.

Just like the F1 visa, there is no maximum number of F2 visa to be issued. if the spouse and or unmarried children meet up with all the required documents then they can apply for the visa.

Who is Eligible for an F2 Visa?

Before you can apply for the F2 visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be an unmarried child below 21 years of a valid F1 visa holder
  • Be a spouse of a valid F1 visa holder
  • Possess a level of financial stability to be able to support the family while in the U.S.

There are also document that you will need to compile and add to the above conditions before you can proceed with your application.

F2 Visa Process: How to apply for the F2 visa?

Below are the steps which you need to follow to apply for the F2 visa

Get a Form I-20

As the F1 holder gets admission into a SEVP institution, the school offers you a Form I-20. This Form I-20 provides details of the estimated expenses, the time for the training program and the purpose of the visa. So if the F1 visa holder has dependents who wish to travel to the U.S with them, it will be the responsibility of the F1 visa holder to inform the SEVP institution that his family members also have to apply for the F2 visa.

When the SEVP institution gets this information, they will prepare and release a Form I-20 for the dependents. Those eligible to apply for the F2 visa must first have a Form I-20 to qualify for the F2 visa. After getting the form, the application process can then proceed like the others.

Fill in Form DS-160 online

Following the reception of your Form I-20, you can then proceed with the normal application process. This process includes completing the DS-160 form online with the necessary information about your visa status. After submitting this form you will be sent a barcode ad confirmation page which you will need to print out and add to your document file.

Pay F2 Visa fees.

The F2 visa application fee is $160. You are required to pay this amount and get a receipt of payment,this receipt will later be used during the interview as part of the documents needed. You may incur additional fees depending on your country of origin and the US Embassy you are applying from.

Unlike the F1 visa applicant who is also responsible for paying the SEVIS I-901 fee, the F2 visa applicant is exempted from it.

Schedule Your Visa Interview.

The F2 visa applicant may apply at the same time as the F1 visa applicant or you can do it separately. You can as well schedule the visa interview at the same time if you are applying together. This procedure is highly recommended. Still, you will have to schedule your own visa interview if you are applying separately. the U.S Embassy will then send you a confirmation letter which you will need to present to the Embassy officers to prove that you have an appointment.

Put together and complete your F2 visa document file.

You are expected to prepare your document file with all the F2 visa required documents before you go to attend your interview. You are required to submit a list of standard required documents. Ensure that you have everything ready on the day of the interview because your application depends on it.

F2 Visa Documents: Below are the required documents for the F2 visa

  • Your valid passport and previous passports if you have
  • Photocopies of your passport pages
  • The DS-160 confirmation page
  • Proof of financial stability. this can either be a bank statement, employment payslips or tax records as proof
  • A USA Visa Photograph which must not be more than 6months.
  • Interview confirmation letter
  • The receipts to prove that you have paid the necessary fees.
  • 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)
  • A copy of the F1 visa holder’s passport if you are applying separately
  • Original marriage certificate if you are the souse of the F1 visa holder.
  • Genuine marriage proof such as:
    • Wedding Album
    • Wedding guest list
    • Receipts of wedding expenses
    • Receipts of honeymoon trips.
    • Wedding affidavit and pictures of you and your spouse with witnesses if married at the registrar.
  • Original birth certificates if you are the child of the F1 visa holder.

Attend Your Interview

Most of the time when you go to attend the visa interview the interview questions will always revolve the reason for going to the United States and also regarding your relationship with the F1 visa holder. The US embassy authority will try to deduce if you are hiding something or if you intend to violate the F2 rules. If the relationship status id clear, you will be granted to visa, otherwise, the visa will be denied.

F2 visa processing time: What is the processing time for the F2 Visa?

The F2 visa processing time can take weeks or sometimes months to be completed. This is because the processing time for US visas tends to vary from country to country. All these depend on the workload of the US embassy where you applied at that time. Nonetheless, you will have to be patient and wait for the embassy to inform you if you have been granted the visa or not. After the interview, In most of the cases, you will get the results of the interview immediately after the interview. after the interview is completed, the consul might congratulate you on getting the visa or will give you a document to let you know the reason for the denial.

The U.S Embassy needs time to look through your documents and responses. they will focus more on you and the F1 visa holder’s financial situation to see if you have the financial means to cover all your expenses while in the United States. However there are the cases where the response and the F2 visa processing takes a few days,you are encouraged to be patient if that occurs.

What is the validity period of the F2 Visa?

The validity of the F2 visa is the same as that of the F1 visa. this means if the F1 visa’s validity is for 2 years then that of the F2 visa will automatically be 2 years too since the F2 visa depends fully on the F1 visa.

Extend Your Stay

When the F1 visa holder applies to extend their stay by getting a new Form I-20, the dependents who accompanied him to the USA will also get a renewal. For F2 visa renewals, you are expected to file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status. You must add documents to show that you have sufficient funds to cover all your expenses in the U.S and also prove your relationship with the F1 visa holder.

F2 Visa Status: Change Your Status

F2 visa holders in the USA can apply to change their status. If you register in an academic with a SEVP approved institution, you will have to apply for an F1 visa and might get the chance to change your status. Also In the case where you find a job that requires a different type of Visa say H-1B type work visa which is not the US F2 visa, then you are allowed to change your visa status. So you will need to work through the instructions of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS) and your employer or another petitioner.

For the Unmarried children of the F1 visa holder, after you turn 21 years old, you will no longer be considered as a dependent so you will need to apply to change your visa status so as to continue living in the USA. If you do not speed up this process and change your visa status you will have to return to your home country since you are no longer a dependent.

F2 Visa to Green Card

Just as the case with the Visa extensions, if the F1 visa holder applies for a Green Card and it is approved, you as the Dependents automatically get a Green Card too. If you get an employer willing to sponsor you, you can file for an employment Based Green card. This is in the case where the F2 visa holder decides to apply for the Green Card by themselves. Moreso, you can also change the status to a different visa which allows dual intent and apply for the Green Card.

Have Access To Healthcare

As an F2 visa holder in the United States, you will get access to the American healthcare system, but it is important to note that the cost of getting treatment might be unbearable. The American system is considered the most expensive healthcare system in the world.

Staying in the hospital for a night in the US may cost about $10000 and treatment for a broken arm or let costs about $2500. It is however not difficult to avoid these costs. It is best for you to purchase the appropriate health insurance cover. It would be considered a very thoughtful investment because getting ill or getting involved in an accident in the United States is not something you might be able to afford.

You could pick a health insurance plan that fits you best which overall is also affordable and covers your needs.

What Are The Restrictions to the F2 Visa?

The main aim of the F2 visa is to keep families united in the United States while the Person with the F1 visa gets their educational degree, which could take a couple of years. so because it is a dependent visa, they are some limitations to what the F2 visa holder can do or may not be able to do. These limitations are as a result that the main aim of the F2 visa was to keep families united.

Below are some of the limitations of the F2 visa holder:

F2 Visa Work: You are not allowed to work on the F2 visa

The F1 visa holder had proven before reviewing the visa that they can afford and cover all the expenses of your stay in the United States, hence the F2 visa holder can not take up any form of paid employment in the USA. There are no F2 visa work permits. Volunteering is allowed for the F2 visa holders or unpaid jobs but no work that requires employment contracts or payment.

You are not allowed to get a Social Security Number(SSN)

The F2 visa holder is only allowed to get an ITIN number for tax purposes but you are not permitted to get a Social Security Number since you are not allowed to work or receive payments.

You are not allowed to Register for a Full educational degree.

The F2 visa holders are only permitted to register in vocational, recreational and non-credit-bearing courses for fun or as hobbies. You are not to register in a degree or credit-bearing education. F2 visa holders would not be permitted to complete a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.

For children dependents of the F1 visa holder, they are only permitted to complete elementary and middle school in the United States. If they would have to continue to high school they will need to apply for a change of visa status.

You can not Travel to the U.S. before the F1 Visa Holder.

The F2 visa is a dependent visa, therefore you can not travel to the United States before the F1 visa holder who you would be accompanying. If it is your first time in the U.S you must travel with the F1 visa holder or travel after they have already arrived in the USA.
However, once you have entered the United States, there are no travel restrictions that apply, you can therefore even without the F1 visa holder, travel in and out of the country.

F2 Visa Rejected

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