Saint Louis University

The Office of International Services can provide support in bringing your spouse or children to the U.S. as you study and/or work. Spouse and children (unmarried and under the age of 21) that do not carry a current U.S. visa status, permanent residency, or citizenship must apply for a dependent visa in order to come to the U.S. The dependents are under your status, so when you complete your objective in the U.S., their status ends as well. You can either decide to bring them with you on your initial entry to the U.S. or you can decide to bring them later. Parents, brothers, sisters, etc. of the primary status holder do not qualify for a dependent visa. The following are some of the dependent visas that are used by international students and scholars:

F-2

Type:  Spouse or unmarried (under the age of 21) child of an F-1 student.

Applying:  The Office of International Services will need to create a Form I-20 for the dependent(s).  We will need financial documentation to verify support for the dependent(s).  The amount to add a spouse to your Form I-20 is $6000 and each child would be $5000.  In addition to the Form I-20 and financial document, the spouse and child must have a legal document verifying the relationship for the visa appointment. 

Regulations:  F-2 children may study at the K-12 level, but must obtain their own legal status if they would like to study at the post-secondary level.  F-2 children must obtain their own legal status or depart from the U.S. once they reach the age of 21.  An F-2 spouse may not study full time and is only allowed part time study if it is considered recreation in nature (such as a hobby).  Individuals in F-2 status may not work or engage in business.

J-2

Type: Spouse or unmarried (under the age of 21) child of a J-1 Exchange Visitor.

Applying: The Office of International Services will need to create a DS-2019 for the dependent(s). We will need financial documentation to verify support for the dependent(s). The amount to add a spouse to your DS-2019 is $6000 and each child would be $5000. In addition to the Form DS-2019 and financial document, the spouse and child must have a legal document verifying the relationship for the visa appointment.  A requirement of the J-1 and J-2 visa status is that each individual must prove insurance coverage.  For more information on the requirements for the insurance coverage, click here.

Regulations: The J-2 spouse and children can study full time.  J-2 dependents can also apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the USCIS and work during their stay.  Dependents cannot start working until they have received approval from USCIS and an EAD card.  Health insurance is required for all J-2 dependents.  J-2 dependents will have a two year home residency requirement if the J-1 status holder is subject to the residency requirement.  J-2 scholar dependents may also be subject to a 12-month bar and 24-month bar on participation as a new or repeat J-1 scholar participation.

What is the two year home residence requirement?

H-4

Type: Spouse or unmarried (under the age of 21) child of an H-1B visa holder.

Applying: If in J status previously, you will need to provide proof of exemption to the home-country resident requirement.  The spouse and child must have a legal document verifying the relationship to the H-1B.  The fee for applying for a change of status to H-4 for accompanying family members is $290, also payable to Department of Homeland security. The employee's dependent must complete and return Form I-539 (www.uscis.gov/i-539). Also include the appropriate documentation. See the H-1B section for more information.

Regulations:  The dependents may not work in H-4 status, but may study full time.