Bringing your Family

If you intend to bring your family with you to the United States, they will enter as your dependents. The information below will help you determine 1) if your family member is eligible and 2) what procedures to follow.


Dependents are defined as spouses or unmarried children. No other family member may be considered a dependent. Please be aware that dependents:

  • may remain lawfully in the U.S. only as long as the F-1 student is maintaining status
  • may not accept employment in the U.S.
  • may not engage in full time study
  • may engage in study that is vocational or recreational in nature

If your dependent is a child, please be aware that s/he:

  • may only engage in full time study if the study is in an elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade).
  • must be unmarried and under 21 years of age.

You must demonstrate the ability to support your dependents by providing proof of additional funding ($4240 for a spouse and $2825 for each child) in addition to the funds used to cover your tuition, fees, and living expenses. This amount must be shown regardless of the length of time your dependent(s) will stay in the U.S.

Documents to be submitted

1. Request for Dependent I-20 Form
2. Financial documentation. If the request is for a spouse, you must submit certified translations of your marriage certificate in English. If the request is for a child, submit certified translations of the birth certificate in English.
3. Copy of dependent(s) passport.


  • Submit the Request for Dependent I-20 Form and other required forms
  • ISSS creates I-20s for eligible dependents

You will be notified by e-mail when this process is complete.

Frequently asked questions

My family member is not eligible to be my dependent. What can I do if they still want to visit?

If you would like to invite family members or friends to visit you for a short period while you are studying in the United States, ISSS can provide a letter of support for a tourist visa. This letter is not a guarantee that they will obtain a visa.

When can my dependent enter the U.S.?

If the dependent is following to join you (i.e. coming after you start your program), s/he can only enter if you are enrolled in a full course of study or engaged in approved practical training following completion of studies.