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Bring Spouse or Children (F-2/J-2)

Are you on an F-1 or J-1 visa? If you’re already at Cornell, you may decide to bring your spouse or children (under the age of 21) to the United States to join you. 

Your spouse or children will need to apply for F-2 or J-2 visas at a U.S. embassy or consulate. But first, each dependent will need a separate I-20 (if you have an F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (if you have a J-1 visa) from Cornell.

Can my J-2 spouse get authorization to work?

J-2 visa holders (spouses and children under 21) may request employment authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services after entering the United States. This authorization is not guaranteed.

I’d like to bring my family! I’m an H-1B.

If you’re a Cornell employee on an H-1B, O-1, or other visa type, please email us about the best strategy for bringing your family to the United States.

How to Make an F-2 or J-2 Request 

  1. Read the Rules
  2. Gather Proof
  3. Submit Form
  4. Pick Up Forms

1 Learn about applying for an entry visa.

If you are a F-1 or J-1 student, read about applying for a student entry visa. If you are a J-1 exchange visitor or intern, read about applying for an entry visa for Cornell employees. These webpages include important information for dependents.

2 Gather proof of financial support. 

F-1 and J-1 Students

In order for the Office of Global Learning to issue an I-20 or DS-2019 for your family members, you must show you have the extra financial means to support them for the entire time needed to complete your degree or for two years, whichever is shorter. In other words: if you need more than two years to complete your degree program, you only need to provide evidence of ability to support your family members for two years. 

Here is the minimum required to show your ability to support family members:

Spouse (12 months)

One child $12,942
Children (above amount plus) $3,450 per each additional child

J-1 Exchange Visitors (Scholars)

You will need to show ability to support your family members for the entire time you will be at Cornell.

Proof of your financial support (depending on the source) may be a recent bank statement (a letter from your bank with a record of your accounts), your Cornell paycheck stubs, a letter from your academic department with your funding details, or a letter from your sponsor stating that they will support you, along with copies of their bank statements. Read more about financial support requirements.

3 Submit your request.

Submit the Add New Dependent to Existing SEVIS Record e-form to our office.

4 Pick up your family’s paperwork. 

We will email you in three to five business days when we have I-20/DS-2019 forms ready. When you pick up the forms, you can make an appointment with one of our advisors if you have questions about next steps.