Current F-2 Dependents

Travel and Re-entry
Employment & Social Security Number
Studying in the U.S.
English Language Program
Health Insurance
Driver's License & California State ID
Extension of Stay
Receiving Public Assistance

Travel and Re-entry

F-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 U.S.:

  1. Valid Passport (valid for at least six months beyond the date of the re-entry to the U.S.).
  2. Valid F-2 visa in passport (except dependents from Canada).
  3. F-2 dependent I-20 with a valid travel signature from OIS on page 3 (signatures are valid for six months).
  4. 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).
  5. 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.

F-2 dependents are able to remain in the U.S. without the F-1 as long as the F-1 maintains status and will return to the U.S. after a temporary absence using the same SEVIS ID number.

F-2 dependents who need a travel signature on their I-20 should submit the I-20 travel signature request form along with the original I-20. The I-20 will be ready for pick-up in four business days.

Employment & Social Security Number

F-2 dependents are not eligible to work in the U.S. They also are not eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).

Studying in the U.S.

F-2 spouses are NOT eligible to pursue a course of study in the U.S. They are eligible to enroll in avocational or recreational courses but not in any courses applicable to a degree.

F-2 minor children are eligible to enroll in full-time studies in elementary or secondary schools. For information about enrolling your child in a public elementary or secondary school, contact the local school district.

English Language Program

The English Language Program (ELP) offered by the Office of International Services is a program that offers English language instruction to individuals on F-2, J-1 and J-2 statuses. In addition to language instruction, social events are planned each month. Please visit the program page to learn more details.

Health Insurance

USC's requirement for health insurance only applies to students. Dependents of USC students are strongly encouraged to purchase private health insurance while in the U.S.

More information on health insurance is available on the Engemann Student Health Center website. Please contact the Engemann Student Health Center by email at b.well@usc.edu for further assistance.

Driver’s License & California State ID

F-2 dependents are eligible to apply for a CA drivers license and state ID, since a SSN is not required for the application. More information on obtaining a driver’s license is available here.

Extension of Stay

The immigration status of an F-2 is dependent upon the F-1 student. In order to request an extension of stay, the F-1 student should review the program extension requirements and follow the guidelines.

Receiving Public Assistance

Children who are born in the U.S. are considered to be U.S. citizens. However, parents who hold non-immigrant visas in the U.S. need to be aware that acceptance of federal or state government benefits for maternity expenses or any other government assistance will jeopardize their immigration status.

Public assistance includes food stamps, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, the WIC program, MediCal and Medicaid.

Local welfare offices do provide the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) with the names and current addresses of every non-immigrant who applies for public assistance. Acceptance of such benefits, even for a child who is a U.S. citizen, is a serious violation of your immigration status.