Useful Tips for International Students With Dependants
Posted on June 27, 2015
Each year, according to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, more than one million international students study in the U.S. Many of these students bring their spouses and children – also known as dependents – with them when they travel to the U.S.
Any dependent who accompanies an international student to the U.S. will need an F-2 or M-2 visa. The type of visa depends on whether the international student – the person who serves as the primary visa holder – plans to pursue vocational or academic studies while studying in the U.S. The F visas are awarded to international students enrolled in academic course work, and M visas are issued to international students enrolled in vocational course work.
Here are five helpful tips for these international students who want to bring their dependents to the U.S.:
1. Dependents first need a Form I-20. As an international student, you must let your designated school official know that a dependent will accompany you to the U.S. Your designated school official will then issue each dependent a Form I-20. This is required in order to apply for an F-2 or M-2 visa with the U.S. Department of State.
2. You must maintain your immigration status. In order for your dependents to remain in status, each international student must maintain their immigration status by attending and passing all their classes and following U.S. laws and regulations while studying in the U.S.
3. Traveling outside the U.S. can get tricky. If your dependents decide to travel outside the U.S., you must be in active status.? Your dependents will need the following paperwork in-hand to re-enter the country when they return: a current Form I-20 in their name that certifies the primary visa holder is enrolled in a full course of study in the U.S., a valid visa and their Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record.
While your dependents do not have to travel with you, they should check the requirements of the country they plan to visit as some countries require a visa, even when making a connecting flight.
Your dependents may remain in the U.S. while you travel to another country. However, as the international student you must be in active status, and you must return to the U.S. after a temporary absence using the same SEVIS identification number currently issued to you.
4. Dependents have work restrictions. Your dependents cannot work or obtain a Social Security number while they are in the U.S. under either an F-2 or M-2 visa.
5. Your dependents can attend school part time. ??A new May 2015 federal regulation permits F-2 and M-2 adult dependents to study at schools certified by SEVP, as long as they are enrolled in less than a full course of study.
If your dependent wants to enroll full-time in postsecondary academic or vocational studies, they must apply for and obtain approval to change their non immigrant classification to F-1 or M-1 before they begin their full-time study. Your dependent minors can, and often must, still attend kindergarten through twelfth grade on a full-time basis.
For more news and updates, assistance with your visa needs or for a Free Assessment of your profile for Immigration or Work Visa’s just visit www.y-axis.com