Change of Status to F-2 (dependent): The Application Procedure

Students in F-1 status who are the spouse of an F-1 at Duquesne University, who wish to change status so that they are a dependent of an F-1 visa holder, should submit the following documents to the Center for Global Engagement.

  1. Completed form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status found at USCIS/FORMS.
  2. Filing Fee: Check for the most current fee for the I-539. Please write your check or money order payable to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security."
  3. Letter from the student requesting the change of status for new dependent, explaining the circumstances.
  4. The new original dependent I-20 created by the Center for Global Engagement signed by the student, NOT the dependent. Be sure the number of dependents is listed and the financials reflect dependent funding. (You will not get this I-20 back; but, keep another original for yourself)
  5. Photocopies of F-1 student's immigration documents: I-20 (showing added dependent information and funding); Passport ID page (and page showing expiration date); F-1 visa; I-94 card; Photocopies of new F-2 dependent's immigration documents:
  6. Passport photo page (and page showing expiration date): Visa (if applicable); I-94 card; Current I-20 (if changing from F-1 to F-2); Proof of family relationship (i.e. marriage certificate, with certified translations); Financial documentation: evidence which supports section 8 on your I-20

Students applying for a change of status should be aware of all grace periods regarding his/her current status and the timeline for submitting the I-539. It is the obligation of the student to have all the requested materials and to check for the most up-to-date information regarding forms, instructions, and fees. Please notify the Center for Global Engagement when you receive the approval notice of the change of status.

The F-2 dependents are permitted to remain in the United States for the duration of the status of the primary F-1 student. F-2 dependents may not accept employment and may not engage in a course of study.

Once an I-20 form has been issued, the dependent may initiate a change of status to F-2 by either departing the U.S. and applying for an F-2 visa from a U.S. consulate abroad or by filing the I-539 application to change immigration status to F-2 from within the U.S. It is not necessary for an individual who changes status to F-2 within the U.S. to obtain a new visa unless the individual departs the U.S. and then wishes to return in F-2 status.