An F-1 or J-1 student may bring their spouse and children to the U.S. These family members are admitted as F-2 or J-2 dependents. The International Office will issue an I-20 or DS-2019 for a fiancé(e), but keep in mind that in order to obtain a dependent F-2 or J-2 visa, your spouse will need to demonstrate proof of the marriage during the visa interview. Dependent children must be unmarried and under 21 years of age. For information regarding newly admitted students who wish to bring immediate family members, please visit the Applying for a Student Visa section of the New Students section.
F-1/J-1 students may add a spouse or children as F-2/J-2 dependents.To add a dependent, the following items must be submitted along with the I20/DS-2019 Request Form:
For more information and resources for International Spouses and Families, please click here.
F-2 spouses may only enroll in classes that are avocational and recreational in nature. This means that any classes that F-2 spouses take should be recreational in nature or done as a hobby. F-2 spouses may not be enrolled in a full-time or degree-seeking program. F-2 children may only engage in full-time study at the K-12 level. Further, F-2 dependents may not accept employment or engage in business under any circumstance. Please see an advisor at the IO if you have questions.
The J-2 spouses of NU students are free to enroll in classes at any level. Enrollment may be on a part-time or full-time basis. If a J-2 spouse wishes to enroll in a full-time degree-seeking program at NU or any other post-secondary institution, it may be advantageous to consider a change of visa status to F-1 or J-1 student. Please contact an advisor at the IO for more information.
J-2 spouses may apply for employment authorization (EAD) from the USCIS to be employed in the U.S. A J-2 spouse may only begin working after receiving the EAD from USCIS. For more information and the application procedure, please contact an advisor at the IO.
The Department of State regulations governing the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program require that all J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents must have health insurance coverage that meets the requirements of the J-1 program. It is your responsibility to monitor that you and your dependents have such insurance while living with you in the US; failure to comply with this regulation could result in the loss of your J-1 status.