International Student Services

F-1 to F-2 - Change of Nonimmigrant Status

Contact International Student Services (ISS) as soon as you know you must obtain F-2 status in order to discuss your options.


  1. Obtain a dependent I-20.
    The primary F-1 status holder–your spouse or parent currently studying in F-1 status–must request a dependent I-20 for you through their international student office.
  2. Review your options for obtaining a new status. Decide which option to use: "Travel and Reentry" or "Change Status in the U.S."
  3. Prepare the required documents and follow next steps for obtaining F-2 status (details below).

Option 1: Travel and Reentry

Review the ISS Visas page.

Option 2: Change of Status in the U.S.

Submit your application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by mail.
(The online USCIS ELIS application option is no longer available).

Mail the following documents to the USCIS Lockbox.

  • Form I-539
  • USCIS filing fee: check or money order payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
  • Original I-94 or photocopy of admission stamp and paper printout of I-94 record
  • Photocopy of the visa page and identification page in your passport
  • Photocopy of current and previously issued I-20s
  • Photocopy of the I-20 listing you as the dependent of the F-1
  • Photocopies of your spouse's I-20 and I-94 card (front and back)
  • Evidence that your F-1 spouse is maintaining status (for example, a copy of his or her transcript and current enrollment verification)
  • Photocopy of proof of family relationship to the F-1 (for example, marriage certificate) in English
  • Evidence of financial support (F-2 dependents are not permitted to work in the U.S.)
  • Detailed letter requesting and explaining the need to change status