Adding Dependents and Inviting Family

The following tabs cover the most essential information regarding adding dependents and inviting family.

Adding Dependents

A dependent is the husband, wife or child of an international student. The dependents of an F-1 visa holder can be in the United States on an F-2 visa. Please note these important regulations around F-2 visa status:

- If an F-2 visa holder is present in the United States, the F-1 visa holder must be as well. An F-2 visa holder cannot be in the United States while the F-1 visa holder is outside the country.

- F-2 visa holders are not allowed to work in the United States.

If you have dependents on F-2 visas, and have questions about their status here, please see an advisor in the International Programs (IP) Office.

Inviting Family

Family members (other than your spouse and children) wishing to visit the United States must apply for a B-2 “tourist” visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home countries.

Visitors from certain countries may be eligible for the Visa Waiver program. For more information, visit

Check the website for your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate for the specific steps to apply for a B-2 visa at The following evidence will assist your relative to apply for their visa:

1/ Invitation letter from you - Write a letter of invitation that includes the following:
- Your name and your reason for living in the U.S. (include your SEVIS Number)
- The names of your family members who wish to visit (include their date of birth and passport number)
- The purpose and approximate length of the visit
- Whether you will provide room and board or any other financial assistance for the visit

2/ Family Members’ Evidence of Funding: Your family members must demonstrate how they will pay for their travel expenses. They should provide proof of their own funds (a bank statement, employment verification or other evidence of funding) or of funds from another person or source.

If you provide room and board or any other specific expenses of the trip (such as airfare), you should supply evidence of your funding, such as a bank statement or employment letter. There is no minimum dollar amount that you must reflect, and you are not required to provide financial support. If you do, though, you should indicate an amount that is reasonable for the level of support you are providing.

3/ Evidence of your status in the United States: Request a Letter of Enrollment from the IP Office, via SCDGlobal

4/ Evidence of intent to return home: Your family members must prove that they will return home after visiting the United States. A round-trip airplane ticket will be helpful, but additional documents showing employment, property ownership, close family relations in home country, or enrollment in school (in the home country) are considered good evidence of intent to return home.

If you are inviting your spouse or children (under the age of 21) to the United States, visit an International Student Advisor during walk-in hours for information about dependent visas.