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Family & Dependents

Welcome spouses, partners, and children of international students and faculty!

As a dependent of an international student, scholar or faculty member, you will need to get your immigration documents and visa. We are here to help you to maintain your status and enjoy your experience at the university.

Dependents are defined as a spouse or an unmarried child under the age of 21. Other family members, such as parents, brothers, sisters, etc. are not eligible for dependent status.

Dependents and other family members may come for short-term visits on B-2 visas or as WT tourists.

Current Students:  Requesting an I-20/DS-2019 for your Dependent

A current F-1/J-1 student who would like to invite their spouse and/or children to join them at UMD, should log in to their iTerp account and submit the ​e-form, Dependent I-20/DS-2019 Request, under F-1/J-1 Student Services.  The following information will need to be submitted with the e-form:

  • Copy of the dependent's passport
  • Recent bank statement showing a consistent balance of $5,000 for each F-2/J-2 dependent 
  • Financial documentation proving the F-1/J-1 student still has adequate funding for all current educational and living expenses as specified here (current assistantship award letter, personal savings account statement, sponsor's statements, etc.). 

Once the F2/J2 dependent(s) receive their I-20/DS-2019 document they can apply for the F2/J2 visa at a U.S. Consulate in their home country.  Please refer to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate website for a list of required documents for the visa interview.


  • The J-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa for spouses and dependents (unmarried children under the age of 21) of J-1 exchange visitors who accompany or later join the J-1 holder in the United States.
  • A J-2 dependent/spouse is in status only while the J-1 is in status.

Applying for a J-2 DS-2019

Each dependent must have their own DS-2019.

  • If the spouse and/or dependent child is accompanying the J-1 scholar upon initial arrival, the dependent DS-2019 is created simultaneously with the J-1 exchange visitor's.
  • If the spouse and/or dependents child is arriving in the U.S. after the J-1 scholar, make an appointment with an ISSS advisor to review the process.

Step 1: The J-1 exchange visitor should meet with an ISSS Faculty and Scholar Advisor to review the J-2 process. The J-1 will request the DS-2019 form(s) through iTerp.

  1. The J-1 will login using the "I have an active Directory ID" option at the top of the iTerp homepage
  2. Once logged in, the J-1 will go to the left-hand side of the page, and under "J-1 Scholar Services," select "Request Immigration Documents for a Spouse or Child." Complete the form for each dependent.
  3. Provide the dependents' information and upload the following:
    • Copy of passport biographical page for each family member
    • Proof of funding for the J-1 exchange visitor and dependents

Step 2: ISSS will prepare the J-2 DS-2019(s) and alert the scholar when they are ready to be picked up at 1126 HJ Patterson Hall.

Step 3: The J-1 exchange visitor will mail the J-2 DS-2019(s) via express courier to their dependent(s). It is important that the dependent not schedule the visa interview until after they have received the DS-2019. The dependent does not have to pay a SEVIS fee. The dependent will need to pay a U.S. visa fee.

Step 4: When the J-2 arrives in the U.S., the J-1 exchange visitor will complete the iTerp e-form, J-2 Dependent Arrival Information for each dependent. The following should be uploaded.

  • Visa stamp
  • I-94
  • Proof of health insurance for the entire length of the DS-2019

Step 5: If a J-2 permanently leaves the U.S. and has no plans to return as a J-2, the J-1 should complete the e-form, "J-2 Dependent Departure."

Once an employee has been hired and the process to obtain the H-1B status for the employee has begun, their spouse and unmarried children under age 21 will also be eligible for H-4 status.

Dependents in H-4 status may not be employed in the U.S., but they are allowed to attend a school/university.

If the employee and dependents are in the U.S., the department will instruct the H-1B worker and their dependents to prepare an I-539 application to change/extend their non-immigrant status. The H-1B worker will submit the application and supporting documents, along with a check to the department to include in the H-1B packet. ISSS will file the H-1B petition and the I-539 application for the dependents simultaneously with USCIS.

If the dependents are outside the U.S., the department does not need to include any information about them in the H-1B packet. After the H-1B petition has been approved, the dependents may apply for H-4 visas at a U.S. consulate. In addition to the items mentioned in the Travel Outside the U.S. section, dependents should present a marriage certificate (for spouse) or birth certificate (for children) during the visa interview.

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