Students and Scholars Who Wish to Bring Family Members
Students and scholars who wish to bring family members to the United States may do so in one of two different ways, depending on the nature of the familial relationship:
- If the family member is a legally-married spouse or a dependent child (unmarried children under the age of 21 years) she/he is eligible for derivative dependent status. For example, F-2, J-2, H-4, and O-3 classifications can be obtained by dependents of F-1, J-1, H1B, and O-1 visa/status holders, respectively. The derivative status of the dependent will last for the duration of the primary visa holder’s non-immigrant status. (Note that while Canadian citizens will not require visa stamps in their passports they must still be admitted to the United States with the proper non-immigrant classification at the port of entry).
- If the family member is not a spouse or dependent child (for example, a parent, sibling, child over the age of 21, or fiancé), she/he can apply for B-2 tourist status. The duration of B-2 status will be a maximum of six months. In all cases, adequate funding to support the invited family members must be documented.
If you or a family member are applying for an F-2 or J-2 visa and plan to travel to the United States with the F-1 or J-1 visa holder, you should visit the consulate together and apply for visa stamps. The dependent must provide the necessary legal documents establishing his or her relationship to the principal visa holder, such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate. Contact the embassy/ consulate ahead of time to find out which documents are required. Consulate officials will also expect to see proof of adequate financial support for family members, along with all I-20s or DS-2019s that have been issued to you by Kennesaw State.
If you or a family member are applying for an F-2 or J-2 visa and traveling to the United States separately from the F-1 or J-1 visa holder, family members will need legal documents establishing your/their relationship to the principal visa holder. In addition, they will need documents showing proof of financial support during their stay in the United States and an I-20 or DS-2019 issued to the dependent. To have the ISSS issue a dependent I-20 or DS-2019 form, bring or send a copy of the spouse/child’s passport to the ISSS. For a dependent, the ISSS requires evidence of funding in the amount of $7,000 per year for a spouse, and $6,000 per year per child in order to issue new DS-2019 or I-20 forms (for J-2 or F-2 dependents).