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St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud State University

I-20 Request for Dependent for F-1 Student


A request for an I-20 for a dependent is a process which takes place when an international student in F-1 status intends on bringing their dependent(s) to join them in the United States.  This results in the issuance of an I-20 for a dependent to request an F-2 visa.


Types of Dependent

Spouse – He or she is the spouse of the F-1 international student.  This must be evidenced by a valid marriage certificate.

*Same-Sex Spouse – He or she is the spouse of the F-1 international student.  This must be recognized in the place of celebration.

Child – He or she is the unmarried child under the age of 21 of the F-1 international student.  The F-1 student must provide a valid birth certificate.


All documents must be translated into the English language. 


Who is eligible to apply for a dependent I-20?

A student can apply for a dependent I-20 if:

  • She/he is currently in valid F-1 status.
  • She/he shows sufficient funds to cover the dependent(s) expenses in the United States.
  • The dependent(s) must have valid passport.


Important Points to Remember

  • Students must allow 5 full business days after submission of a complete application for the Center for International Studies to process their request.
  • F-2 Dependents may remain in the United States as long as the F-1 international student maintains his/her status.
  • The F-2 spouse of an F-1 international student may not engage in full time study.
  • The F-2 child of an F-1 international student may only engage in full time study if the study is in an elementary or secondary school (Kindergarten through 12th grade).
  • The F-2 spouse and/or child may engage in study that is avocational or recreational in nature (to pursue a hobby, occasional, casual, or recreational).
  • If an F-2 spouse and/or child wishes to engage in full-time study or to pursue an educational objective, then she/he must apply for a change to F-1 status.
  • F-2 dependents may not accept or engage in any type of employment.
  • All F-2 dependents must leave the United States upon the end of program or termination of the F-1 international student’s student status.