Dependents are welcome to accompany students & scholars during their stay in the United States. Dependents are limited to immediate family members that are either your spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21. Any child who approaches 21 must either depart the United States or obtain their own non-immigrant status.

As long as you - the primary F1 student / J1 exchange visitor - is maintaining status, your dependents will also be maintaining status. The dependent's status is contingent on your presence in the U.S. and on your continued participation in the J-1 program at Clarkson University.

F2 Eligibility & Notes

  • F-2 dependents may enter with or after the principle F-1 will start their program
  • F-2 dependents must carry dependent Form I-20 for each trip in to the U.S. and this must be signed every year
  • F-2 dependents will maintain legal status by the principle J-1 maintaining their status
  • F-2 dependents may not be employed
  • F-2 dependents may engage in part-time study only

J2 Eligibility & Notes

  • J-2 dependents may enter with or after the principle F-1 will start their program
  • J-2 dependents must carry dependent Form DS-2019 for each trip in to the U.S. and this must be signed every year
  • J-2 dependents will maintain legal status by the principle J-1 maintaining their status
  • J-2 dependents may be employed if they apply for and are approved by USCIS
  • J-2 dependents may engage in full or part-time study

Adding a Dependent


Student & Scholars will use initial request paperwork to add dependents for document processing. Please provide dependent information within your F-1 Certificate of Finances - or J-1 Initial Application and include your dependents passport copy.

After Arrival

Students & Scholars can invite spouses & children after arriving to the U.S. Please complete a Dependent Request Form and submit to ISSS with the following supporting documents.

  • Dependent passport copy
  • Financial documentation showing sufficient support for each dependent
    • Students - complete an updated Certification of Finances form
    • Scholars - submit funding information for the duration of your program
  • Proof of Insurance
    • J-1 visa holders are required to show proof of insurance for all dependents for the duration of their program
    • F-1 visa holders are not required to carry insurance for their dependents - however - this is strongly encouraged for your protection.

Visa Process

Dependents will apply for F-2 / J-2 visas at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country with their own I-20 / DS-2019. Please review the embassy or consulate website for specific documentation required to apply for the visa - however - the following will be the minimum supporting documentation needed;

  • Original or certified copy of marriage license for spouse and/or birth certificate for children.
  • Evidence of financial support

F-2 / J-2 Dependent Arrival to the U.S.

Dependents may arrive any time after the F-1 / J-1 enters the U.S. Upon arrival, you or your dependent will check-in' with ISSS to complete SEVIS registration.

Dependent check-in

All dependents must check-in' with ISSS to sign and make copies of various F-2 / J-2 documents.

Please bring the following documents:

  • Form I-20 / DS-2019 for signature by an International Advisor
  • Passport/visa
  • Dependent Verification form

Note - Clarkson University is required to report F-2 / J-2 dependent email addresses and any early departures in F-2 / J-2 status. Please use the

Dependent Verification form for any changes to either the contact information and/or to report an early departure from the U.S.

Dependent Orientation

All dependents will be provided information to assist them in settling into the Clarkson & Potsdam community.

Work & Study

Depending on the visa classification (F-2 /J-2), depending may have certain opportunities to work or study in the U.S.

Study in the U.S.

F-2 Study

  • F-2 spouses may not engage in a full course of study - if you plan to pursue full time study in a degree program you must apply for and obtain a change of status to F-1 or J-1
  • F-2 spouse & children may engage in part-time study - even if the course of study leads to a degree program
  • F-2 spouses & children may engage in study that is avocational or recreational full or part time
  • F-2 children may engage in full-time study at the K-12 level
  • Study outside the above mentioned allowable' study is a violation of F-2 status.

J-2 Study

  • There is no restriction on study in J-2 status. You may study in full or part-time status.

F-2 Work Eligibility

  • F-2 dependents may not accept employment or engage in business under any circumstances.

J-2 Work Eligibility

J-2 dependents can apply for employment authorization from USCIS - this authorization is known as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

J-2 dependents are eligible to apply for employment authorization as long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1 principal exchange visitor. J-2 dependents do not need to demonstrate financial need to receive employment authorization - only indicate the reason employment is desired.

Note: you may not begin employment until your employment authorization document (EAD) card has been approved and received.

How to Apply

You must submit an application for work authorization with USCIS - prepare and compile the following (suggested order)

  • Optional - Form G-1145 - E-Notification of Application (USCIS will notify you when received)
  • Check or money order made payable to USCIS for $410
    • Note - you can now also pay by credit card using form G-1450
  • Two (2) U.S. passport style photos taken with the last 30-days of filing your application.
  • Completed I-765 form
    • Check the box permission to accept employment
    • Return address - please be sure this is an address that will be valid for at least 6-months- if not, you may wish to use the address of ISSS and we will notify when the information has been received
    • Eligibility Category = (c) (5)
  • Copies of:
    • Current DS-2019 of the J-2 dependent & J-1 principal
    • J-1 & J-2 passport/visa
    • Electronic print-out of form I-94 admission number or front/back of I-94 card of both the J-1 principal & J-2 dependent
  • Letter from J-2 dependent stating why the employment is desired, indicating the source & amount of support of the principal J-1 exchange visitor & stating specifically that the income from the employment will not be used to support the J-1 exchange visitor.
  • Mail all documents to USCIS for review - see USCIS for specific filing locations.

Guide to Inviting Family / Friends to the U.S.

This guide is designed to provide you with some suggestions on how to help your friends or family members prepare when applying for a visitor's visa to the U.S.  International Student & Scholars Services (ISSS) no longer prepares letters of invitation' as these are no longer required by the United States Consular Offices in order to secure a visa to visit the U.S.

Friends & Family will need to provide specific information related to their intended purpose to the U.S. - such as,

  • The purpose of their visit.
  • They have sufficient funds to cover the expenses related to their visit, and -
  • They intend to return to their home country at the conclusion of their visit

Suggested tips for the Visitor's application

  • Write a letter of invitation. You can provide your friend or family member with a letter of invitation from you. This letter should include; the purpose of the visit, your relationship to the visitor, a statement of your status here, itinerary details (if known) and - the length of time they will be visiting. It is best to emphasize the temporary nature of the invitation and to demonstrate their intention to return to the home country following the visit. If you will provide financial support while they are here - include that information as well.
  • Enrollment or Employment Verification. Contact SAS for an enrollment verification. If you are working under an approved work authorization - provide a copy of that information.
  • Commencement Ceremony Details. If applicable, provide commencement ceremony details - i.e. date and place

Providing your friends or family members with this documentation may improve their chances of obtaining a visa; however, there is no guarantee a visa will be issued. The success of their request of a visa lies in their ability to provide the purpose of their visit - they have sufficient funds to cover the expenses of the visit - and - they can prove they does not intend to stay permanently in the U.S.

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