If you wish to bring family members for the duration of your studies, they will have to enter the US as F-2 or J-2 dependents. If you're a newly admitted student, and you want to bring family with you right away, you can add your family members' information to your I-20 or DS-2019 Application available from our Get a US Visa page. You won't need to do the things listed on this page unless you're already in the US, and you wish to bring family members after you've arrived.
If your spouse will accompany you to the US, you must document an additional US$10,800 per year for living expenses and insurance. An additional US$5,400 is required for each child. US federal law requires the J-2 spouse and children to have adequate health insurance coverage. F-1 students are also expected to obtain comprehensive health insurance for dependents.
If your spouse or child plan to only remain in the US for a short visit, please review the instructions on bringing a family member as a visitor to the US.
If you as the F-1 or J-1 student plan to be outside the US for an extended period of time (for example, doing research for 30 days or longer), your F-2 or J-2 dependent cannot remain in the US for this time as an F-2 or J-2 spouse. Their status is dependent on your status in the US.
You'll need all the documents and information we've listed above in order to successfully complete the add a dependent request. You will also need to submit a separate request form for each dependent you wish you add. For example, if you would like to get dependent status for both a spouse and a child, you will need to submit two separate add a dependent request forms.
Within five business days of receiving your complete request, we will issue you and your dependent(s) new documents. Once your documents are ready we will email you to confirm they are ready and provide further instructions on getting the needed visa for your dependent.
If your spouse and/or child(ren) is not yet in the US, they will need to apply for an F-2 visa if you are in F-1 status or a J-2 visa if you are in J-1 status. They will need to apply for this visa in their home country.
If your spouse and/or child(ren) is currently in the US in another immigration status, they will either need to depart the US to then apply for a new visa at a US consulate outside of the US or apply to change their status in the US.
If you have any questions on this step, be sure to speak with an advisor during our advising hours.