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.
F-2 dependents may:
- Not enroll in a degree program (children may attend K-12)
- Not be employed
- 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
J-2 dependents may:
- Be admitted as a full-time student
- Be employed after receiving authorization from USCIS
- 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
Requesting an I-20/DS-2019 for a Dependent
A current F-1/J-1 student who would like to invite their spouse and/or children to join them at UMD, should submit the following:
- Update Request Form that includes dependent information
- Copy of the dependent's passport
- Recent bank statement showing a consistent balance of $4,500 for each F-2 dependent
- Financial documentation proving the F-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.)
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 he/she is hired.
For more information, see an advisor in the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS), 3109 Susquehanna Hall. Phone: 301-314-4470.