International Student and Scholar Services

I-20 Request for Dependent/F-2 Visas

Students who want to bring their dependents to join them in the United States must file an I-20 request for an F-1 student's dependent. The U.S. issues an I-20 for the dependent to request an F-2 visa.

Students must allow the Center for International Studies 7 full business days after submission of a complete application to process the request.


All documents must be translated into the English language.

  • Spouse
    • The couple must produce a valid marriage certificate.
    • Same-sex couples must have the marriage recognized where the marriage took place.
  • Child
    • Unmarried children under the age of 21. The F-1 student must provide a valid birth certificate.


F-1 students can apply if:

  • They are in valid F-1 status.
  • They show sufficient funds (see application information)
  • The dependent has a valid passport.


Complete all sections of the packet, including:

  • I-20 request for dependent of F-1 student.
  • Health insurance release
  • Financial documentation.
    • The student must prove sufficient funding is available to cover the current academic year's expenses.
    • The student must prove sufficient funding is available to cover:
        • $6,500 for the first dependent.
        • $4,000 for each additional dependent.
        • $1,000 monthly for living expenses if the student is in an approved optional practical training program.
    • Documents must:
        • Be originals, photocopies, scanned copies or faxed documents printed on bank letterhead and certified with the bank’s stamp or seal; we reserve the right to verify authenticity.
        • Be dated within six months of today’s date.
        • Include a letter in English from a sponsor indicating their willingness to provide financial support if support is being provided by anyone other than the student.
        • Be written in English; if English is not the language in which the bank documents are issued, the bank documents must be accompanied by a certified, literal English translation.
    • Provide supporting evidence.
        • A copy of the dependent's passport information page that includes their picture, biographical information and expiration date.

Drop off or mail the packet for review to:

Center for International Studies
Lawrence Hall 101
720 Fourth Ave S
St. Cloud, MN 56301

An advisor will:

  • Review the packet and email the student to pick up the packet, provide further documentation or that the request has been denied.
  • Provide a letter of invitation for each dependent issued an I-20 to be used during their visa interview.

The student should pick up the packet and letter at the center, Lawrence Hall 101.

F-2 Dependent Academic Study

  • Kindergarten — 12th grade (elementary or secondary) study is allowed.
  • Intensive English Center
    • Maximum of 17 hours a week.
    • Apply directly to the Intensive English Center.
    • The study may count toward a certificate.
  • Undergraduate
    • Maximum of 11 credits a semester.
    • Apply as a non-degree seeking student where a maximum of 24 credits are allowed if the student wants to apply for an undergraduate program.
    • Apply as an undergraduate student if the student wants credits to count toward a degree.
  • Graduate
    • Maximum of 7 credits a semester.
    • Apply as a non-degree seeking student where a maximum of six credits are allowed if the student wants to apply for a graduate program.
    • Apply as a graduate student if the student wants credits to count toward a degree.
  • Avocational or recreational
    • No maximum.

Key points

  • An F-2 child may only engage in full-time study if the study is in an elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through 12th grade).
  • F-2 dependents may not accept or engage in any type of employment.
  • F-2 dependents may enroll in online classes.
  • F-2 dependents are not eligible for curricular practical training or optional practical training.
  • F-2 dependents are not eligible for the Academic and Cultural Sharing Scholarship; they must pay non-resident tuition.
  • F-2 dependents may remain in the U.S. as long as the F-1 international student maintains status.
  • F-2 dependents must leave the U.S. when the F-1 international student’s student status or program ends.
  • An F-2 spouse may not engage in full-time study.
  • An F-2 spouse or child may engage in study that is avocational or recreational in nature (to pursue a hobby, occasional, casual, or recreational).
  • An F-2 spouse or child who wishes to engage in full-time study or to pursue an educational objective must apply for a change to F-1 status to begin that study.
  • If an F-2 dependent enrolls in a full-time course load, there will be consequences to the dependent’s status at the time of future status changes.

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