Obtaining any type of United States visa can be a lengthy and difficult process. However, when you are approved it can be exciting and open many doors for you. There are various ways that you can enter the country legally, including by possessing an F2 visa. But what is an F2 visa and who is eligible for one? As explained in the following sections, your ability to obtain an F2 visa is dependent first on your relationship with an F1 visa holder. For further information and assistance with your application, reach out to a temporary visas immigration lawyer in New York City.

What is an F1 Visa?

An F1 visa is a nonimmigrant student visa for people who want to study in the United States full-time. To qualify for an F1 visa you must meet the following requirements.

  • Be enrolled in an academic program including education programs, language training programs, or vocational programs that is approved by the SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitors Program) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student
  • Be proficient in English or be enrolled in English classes
  • Have the financial means to support yourself during the length of your program
  • Maintain a residence in your home country or abroad

What is an F2 Visa and Who is Eligible?

An F2 visa is a nonimmigrant temporary visa that may be obtained by the immediate family of a student holding an F1 visa. The only people qualified for an F2 visa are the spouse or children of an F1 visa holder, given that the children are unmarried and under the age of 21.

While in the United States, an F2 visa holder is not permitted to obtain employment with financial compensation. They are welcome to participate in volunteer work as long as they are not given wages or a salary of any kind.

F2 visa holders are also not allowed to pursue higher education. Children may attend elementary school and high school, but adults are not allowed to attend college or university. However, they may engage in recreational courses.

What Do I Need to Apply for an F2 Visa?

You need several things in order to apply for a visa if your spouse or parent has an F1 visa. The following is a list of documents required to apply.

  • A valid passport
  • Recent photographs of yourself
  • SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitors Information System) Form I-20
  • Application fee
  • Proof of financial stability or support
  • Marriage certificate if you are the spouse of the F1 visa holder
  • Birth certificate if you are the child of the F1 visa holder
  • Supporting documents, e.g. the F1 holder’s student immigration documents, proof of status, financial documents, etc.

It is important to remember that once the F1 visa holder has completed their education they have a 60-day grace period but then must leave the country. Any associated F2 visa holders must leave with them.