F-2 Dependents

What is an F-2 Visa?

An F-2 is a visa for a dependent of an F-1 student in the U.S. F-2 dependents may remain in the U.S. as long as the F-1 student maintains good status. Spouses and children are classified as dependents.

The F-1 student must apply on the F2’s behalf to obtain the I-20. Upon receipt of these documents, the ISSS office will issue an I-20 document for each dependent and a new I-20 document for the F-1 student. The student must sign the dependent(s) I-20 document(s). The dependent will use the I-20 document to apply for an F-2 visa.

Please note:

  • F-2 dependents are not eligible for any paid employment in the U.S.
  • Children may attend nursery, primary and secondary school while on a dependent I-20.
  • Spouses and children are not authorized to study full time at the college level while on a dependent I-20. A change of Status to F-1 may be required.
  • International health Insurance is strongly encouraged and may be added to the policy of the primary F-1 student.

Who is eligible to obtain an F-2 or Dependent I-20?

  • Any child of an F-1 student under the age of 21
  • A legal spouse

Please note: If the dependent is already in the U.S. on another visa, the dependent must complete a Change of Status (COS) in order to become an F-2. This memo does not discuss COS.

How Do I apply for a dependent I-20?

The F-1 student must follow the instructions below to apply to be issued a dependent I-20:

 1. Log in to your online ISSS account.  To access your online ISSS account, go to /isss. Click on "ISSS Log In." Log in to your online ISSS account with your ISSS account username and password.

  • Once you are logged in, click on "Search Programs." (left side of page in black box underneath "Your Home Page")
  • In the dropdown box next to "Show:", select "Requests" and click "Search."
  • Click on the authorization (i.e. Dependent I-20 Request.) for which you would like to apply.
  • Click on "Apply Now" and select the year for which you will be receiving the authorization.

2. Complete the Dependent I-20 Request Application on your online ISSS account. You may request between 1-3 dependent I-20s using the same Dependent Request Form. Click "Submit" after you have completed the form/uploaded the required documentation. If you will be requesting more than three dependent I-20s, please contact isss@uwplatt.edu.

3. Documents that you must upload to your Dependent I-20 Request application on your online ISSS account include:

  • Copy of the dependent’s passport
  • Financial Certification Form

What should the F-2 bring to the visa appointment?

  • Passport
  • Copy of student’s passport and visa
  • Original Marriage Certificate (for a spouse) or Original Birth Certificate (for a child)
  • Original dependent I-20
  • Copy of student’s I-20
  • Original financial documents (bank statement and affidavit, if applicable)
  • Proof of ties to home country
  • Other documents as required (See the appropriate consulate website for details)


F-2 Reporting Requirements

  • Please email isss@uwplatt.edu to schedule a required "document check" appointment with the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Office upon arrival to UW-Platteville. This document check appointment must occur within 30 days of the dependent's arrival at UW-Platteville. Please bring a copy of the dependent's passport, visa, and I-94 to the appointment. The ISSS Office is located in Royce Hall (first floor) on the UW-Platteville campus.