Dependent Information and Family Visitation Invitation

International Student Dependent Information and Family Visitation Invitation

A dependent is the legal spouse and/or child of a non-immigrant F-1 or J-1 student. The dependent would be classified as an F-2 or J-2 visa holder.

In order for a dependent (F-2 or J-2) to accompany or join the F-1/J-1 student, the dependent (spouse and/or child) must be able to provide the U.S. Consular Officer a SEVIS Dependent Form I-20 (F-2) or Form DS-2019 (J-2) and proof of adequate financial support.

The F-1 or J-1 student must complete the Certificate of Eligibility Request Form to request a Form I-20 or DS-2019 for a dependent spouse and/or child. The form is available in the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO), Murphy Hall – Room 221 or on the ISSO website.

Adequate financial resources must be demonstrated by the student in order to obtain the dependent I-20 or DS-2019 from North Carolina A&T and for the dependent(s) to obtain the F-2 or J-2 visa from the U.S. Consulate.   For the 2004-2005 school year, students are required to demonstrate funds of $24,000.   For a spouse, an additional amount of $6,000/year is required and for each child, an additional $4,000/year is required. For those using personal funds to show financial support, you must submit bank statements for three consecutive months showing the capacity of adequate funds for dependent support.

Each dependent will be issued an individual Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or DS-2019). Dependents are also required to have a valid visa and passport and must be able to demonstrate eligibility for F-2/J-2 status, such as proof of relationship to the F-1/J-1 primary.

Dependents Mandatory Medical Insurance

Medical care is very expensive in the U.S. This is especially true when medical insurance is purchased for family members. Students at North Carolina A&T are required to purchase and maintain medical insurance for themselves and all dependents (in the U.S.) during their stay at the University.

As a student, you are required to maintain the University’s Health Plan. For dependent coverage, you can use an alternate medical insurance agency. However, the plan must meet the specifications as stated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

The student must provide proof of medical coverage upon the entry of dependents. (Insurance benefits must be in English and acceptable for use in the U.S. as well as meeting USCIS specifications.)

Dependents Employment Options

F-2 dependents may not accept employment or engage in business under any circumstances.

J-2 dependents are permitted to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS in order to be employed in the United States. The J-2 may begin employment only after receiving the EAD from USCIS.

J-2 dependents are eligible to apply to USCIS for employment authorization so long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1.

J-2 dependents interested in applying for work authorization must speak with an International Student Advisor in the International Students and Scholars Office.

Dependents Education Options


The F-2 spouse of an F-1 student may not engage in full time study, and the F-2 child may only engage in full time study if the study is in an elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade). The F-2 spouse and child may engage in study that is vocational or recreational in nature.

An F-2 spouse or F-2 child desiring to engage in full time study, other than that allowed for a child by USCIS regulations, must apply for and obtain a change of nonimmigrant classification to F-1, J-1 or M-1 status.

An F-2 spouse or F-2 child violates his or her nonimmigrant status by engaging in full time study except as provided in the above paragraphs of this section.


Currently there is no written restriction in the Exchange Visitors regulations that states a J-2 dependent cannot pursue a course of study.

Until such a restriction appears in the regulations themselves, there is no restriction for J-2 dependents.

However, dependents of a J-1 may only attend school, provided the principal maintains status.

J-2 dependents are not eligible for on-campus employment with approved work authorization from USCIS.

Family Visit Invitation

If an F-1 student or J-1 student/scholar wishes to invite their parents or other relatives to visit the United States temporarily, they must write a letter of invitation in English order for their relatives to obtain a temporary visa from the American Consulate. The ISSO will only write a letter to confirm your legal status in the US. The following information should be obtained by the student/scholar and included in the invitation letter:

  • your desire to have the person(s) visit you
  • length of the visit
  • date of the proposed visit
  • who will provide financial support for the visit
  • purpose of the visit
  • evidence of your student or scholar status as a copy of your Form I-20 or DS-2019. Note: The ISSO will provide a letter confirming your legal status in the U.S., if requested.

If you will assume financial responsibility to support the person(s) visit, you should provide evidence of financial support (bank statement, proof of assistantship award, sponsor’s letter of support, etc.); you may be required to complete Form I-134. (Affidavit of Support).

For detailed information, you should review the eligibility requirements for visitor visas at your embassy/consulate website or personally contact for current-date instructions.

Special Note: The ISSO will provide a letter of invitation to students at North Carolina A&T who provide complete documentation showing eligibility for graduation, within the current semester of letter request.