Dependent Visa Information



F-2 Dependent Visa (Spouse)


F-2 visa holders cannot work or receive compensation for services such as baby-sitting, tutoring, etc. F-2 dependents may attend nondegree avocational or recreational courses only, on a part-time basis – these courses cannot be used in a degree program.

F-2s wishing to pursue higher education at the college/university level must obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa. 


J-2 Dependent Visa (Spouse)


J-2 visa holders may work with prior authorization from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Please contact ISSO for questions about J-2 work authorization. J-2s should not begin any work before obtaining DHS authorization as this will jeopardize their legal status.

Current State Department regulations allow J-2 dependents to pursue a degree part-time or full-time at the college/university level.  However, we strongly suggest that individuals wishing to pursue a degree program full time apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa as these regulations could change in the future.


H-4 Dependent Visa (Spouse)


H-4 visa holders may not engage in any paid or unpaid employment under any circumstances. Currently, federal regulations allow H-4 dependents to pursue a degree part time or full time at the college/university level. 

However, we strongly suggest that individuals wanting to pursue a degree program full time apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa, as individuals on an H-4 visa will not be able to participate in off-campus employment such as internships or on-campus employment (including teaching assistantships).


F-2, J-2 and H-4 Dependent Visa (Children)


Each child must attend school beginning in September of the calendar year in which he or she attains the age of 6 and must continue schooling until the age of 16.

All dependent children must change visa status before their 21st birthday or before marriage (whichever is sooner).