UMD: A Globally Connected University
Definition of a Dependent
Dependents are defined as a spouse or an unmarried child (under 21 years of age) of the F-1/J-1 student. Other family members, such as parents, brothers, sisters, etc. are not eligible for F-2/J-2 dependent status. However, they may be eligible for short-term visits as B-2 or WT tourists. Although dependents usually enter as F-2/J-2 dependents, they are not required to do so. They may enter as tourists or in other visa classes for which they qualify. An F-2/J-2 dependent is in status only as long as the F-1/J-1 is in status.
- are permitted to enroll in a full-time degree program (children may attend K-12).
- are not eligible to work in the U.S. They are also not eligible to apply for a social security number.
- may not remain in the U.S. if the F-1 student is absent from the U.S., unless the temporary absence is less than 5 months.
- can be admitted as a full-time student.
- can apply for employment authorization.
- may not remain in the U.S. if the J-1 student is absent from the U.S., unless the temporary absence is less than 5 months
Current Students: Requesting an I-20/DS-2019 for your Dependent
A current F-1/J-1 student who would like to invite their spouse and/or children to join them at UMD, should log in to their iTerp account and submit the e-form, Dependent I-20/DS-2019 Request, under F-1/J-1 Student Services. The following information will need to be submitted with the e-form:
- Copy of the dependent's passport
- Recent bank statement showing a consistent balance of $4,500 for each F-2/J-2 dependent
- Financial documentation proving the F-1/J-1 student still has adequate funding for all current educational and living expenses as specified here (current assistantship award letter, personal savings account statement, sponsor's statements, etc.).
Once the F2/J2 dependent(s) receive their I-20/DS-2019 document they can apply for the F2/J2 visa at a U.S. Consulate in their home country. Please refer to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate website for a list of required documents for the visa interview.
Travel and Re-entry
F-2/J-2 dependents are not required to travel with the primary F-1. However, the F-2 dependent must carry the following documents required for re-entry to the US:
- Valid Passport (valid for at least six months beyond the date of the re-entry to the U.S.).
- Valid F-2 visa in passport (except dependents from Canada).
- F-2 dependent I-20 with a valid travel signature from ISSS on page 3 (signatures are valid for six months).
- Copies of the most current immigration documents (I-20, passport, F-1 visa, I-94 Arrival/Departure record) of the primary F-1 (if traveling separately).
- If the primary F-1 is on post-completion OPT, F-2 dependents should carry copies of the F-1’s OPT I-20, EAD card and job offer letter.
Current F-2/J-2 Dependents
- Programs for Your Spouse - The International Student & Scholar Services welcomes your spouse to the University of Maryland. Learn more about our Orientation and programming available for your spouse.
- Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) - For information on obtaining a taxpayer Identification number (ITIN), click here.
J-2's are allowed to work in the US. Authorization for employment is from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Checklist for J-2 Employment
- Letter from applicant (expressing the need for employment, amount and source of J-1 funding support, and a statement that the income earned by the J-2 will not be used for the support of J-1).
- Form I-765 J-2 Employment Form(answer for question number 16 is c5).
- Photocopy of both sides of J-2's I-94 (white card in passport), a photocopy of J-1's DS-2019.
- Two color passport photos of J-2 (write name and SEVIS number on back of both photos; must be taken within 30 days) You can obtain photos on-campus at Photographic Services, 5201 Paint Branch Parkway, Suite 1117, 301-405-0577, 2 photos for $11.50
- Check for $410 made payable to: Department of Homeland Security and mailed to:
For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Deliveries:
PO Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266
For Express mail and courier deliveries:
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067
- The applicant will receive a receipt by mail. If the application is approved, an approval notice and employment authorization document (EAD card) will be mailed directly to the applicant at the address listed on the form I-765. The applicant cannot begin working until the card has been received. It is recommended that applications to extend employment authorization be filed 90 days before the current EAD expires.
- Income earned by J-2's is subject to Social Security taxes as well as federal, state, and local income tax. More information on income tax requirements is available at the OIS website. J-2's can apply for a Social Security number AFTER they have received employment authorization.
Note: The regulations state that the employment should be used to support the family's customary recreational and cultural activities and related travel, among other things. Employment authorization will be issued in the form of a photo identification card called an EAD - Employment Authorization Document. The J-2 should show this card to the employer at the time they are hired.
For more information, see an advisor in the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS), 1126 H.J. Patterson Hall. Phone: 301-314-4470.