Bringing Your Spouse and Children as Dependents

F-1 and J-1 students and scholars may bring their spouse and/or children to the U.S. on a dependent visa, known as an F-2 or J-2 visa.

To apply for a dependent visa, the F-1 or J-1 student or scholar will first need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) for the dependent by following these steps:

  1. Make an appointment with an international student advisor or international scholar advisor to discuss funding requirements and other concerns related to bringing dependents to the US

  2. Complete the Dependent Document Request E-Form and attach a copy of the ID page from each dependent’s passport

  3. Provide appropriate documentation of financial support to cover the costs of the dependents and your own program expenses

Note: Dependents who plan to visit the US for 6 months or less and engage in tourist activities may apply for a B-2 tourist visa.

Other Considerations for Dependents

The State of Oregon requires all international students and their dependents to carry health and accident insurance throughout their stay in the United States. Federal regulations specifically require health insurance for J-1 visa holders and their dependents. Students or scholars with dependents are responsible for enrolling them in a health insurance plan. Contact Student Health Services for more information about OSU options.

Dependents on an F-2 visa are NOT allowed to work at any time during their stay in the US. Dependents on a J-2 visa are eligible to apply for employment authorization from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1 student or scholar. For more information visit the J-2 Employment Authorization page or meet with an international student or scholar advisor.

Effective May 29, 2015, F-2 adult dependents of F-1 students studying in the United States may now study in degree and non-degree academic programs in the U.S. An F-2 spouse or F-2 child may enroll in less than a full course of study, as defined in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(A)-(D) in any course of study or program at a SEVP-certified college or university.  Less than full-time enrollment at OSU is defined in the following ways:

  • Undergraduate Degree/Non-degree - 11 credits or less per term

  • Graduate Degree/Non-degree - 8 credits or less per term

  • INTO OSU Academic English - No more than 9 credits per term

Should a student in F-2 status wish to enroll in a full-time course of study, they must change their status to F-1. A full-time course of study as an F-2 student is considered a violation of immigration status. Please make an appointment with an International Student Advisor to discuss a change of status inside or outside the US.

Dependents on a J-2 visa are allowed to study part-time or full-time in either a degree or non-degree program.

F-2 and J-2 dependents may study full-time in elementary through high school without any additional authorization needed. To enroll your children in Corvallis Public Schools, please obtain the following documents from your home country:

  • An official birth certificate, a signed hospital certificate, or a passport as valid proof of your child's birth date

  • Official copies of the child's school records

  • All immunization records with names and dates of vaccines received. Required immunization for all school-aged children are diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, and polio. In addition, some children from outside the United States must be screened for active tuberculosis infection.

This is a non-religious volunteer program that offers beginning to advanced instruction in English at a minimal cost. The school is not only a place to learn English, but also offers a social environment where women from all over the world can make friends and feel more at home in the community and culture. Further information and enrollment forms are available through Crossroads International.

The Family Resource Center advocates for and provides quality programming and services to all OSU families with dependent care needs to support the academic, professional and personal growth and success of the whole person.

As part of the Family Resource Center, there is also the International Moms Group open to all international moms, to educate, empower, and encourage international mothers on their parenting journey.

University Housing & Dining Services (UHDS) has an on-campus Family Housing option called Orchard Court for currently-admitted students who meet eligibility requirements. You can apply to be on a waitlist that can be 16-24 months. 

You can review other housing information on our Housing web page


Inviting Family for Short Visits

If family members would like to visit you in the U.S. for a short period of time, they should follow the procedures outlined by the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. In most cases, family members would apply for a B-2 (tourist) visa.

Supporting Documents

You may provide your relatives with additional information to assist them in their visa interview, regardless of the reason for their visit:

  • An invitation letter that you write (see right for more information)

  • Copies of your I-20/DS-2019, passport, visa and I-94

  • Copies of your academic transcripts

  • An OSU enrollment verification letter

  • Commencement ceremony information

Invitation Letter

Our experience has shown that invitation letters written by students may assist family members in obtaining a visa. However, as with any visa application, there is no guarantee a visa will be issued. There are no formal requirements for an invitation letter. We have created a sample letter of invitation that you may use as a guide.

If you will be graduating and attending the ceremony you may request a Commencement Visa Letter from The Office of the Registrar.

Other Considerations for Family Members

The most common reason that tourist visas are denied is because the applicant is believed to have “immigrant intent.” Applicants must show that they do not wish to remain in the United States. If applicants are not able to show this, the consular officer may deny the visa.

Some of the ways applicants can attempt to prove that they do not have “immigrant intent” is by producing documents showing:

  • They have a job to return to in their home country
  • They own property in their home country
  • An itinerary for their visit to the United States
  • They have the funds to finance the trip
  • Any other documentation showing they have a reason to return to their home country