There are a number of students, scholars, and employees who bring their spouses and children with them to the University of Pittsburgh as dependents on their immigration status. Please choose the appropriate status below to learn more about a specific, dependent immigration regulations.

Only the spouse and minor children (under age 21) who accompany the primary visa holder in the U.S. may receive F-2 dependent status. Their eligibility to stay legally in the U.S., as well as to extend their stay, is contingent upon the F-1 student maintaining legal status. Once the F-1 student has completed their studies and subsequent grace period, the F-2 dependents must leave as well.  The F-2 dependent may be admitted into the U.S., if each dependent presents a Form I-20 issued in his or her own name and an F-2 visa. F-1 students can either apply for dependents to receive an I-20 when the student accepts admission to the university or during their program through My OIS.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO OBTAIN AN F-2 VISA
The following documents should be taken to the visa interview: valid passport, photographs, F-2 dependent SEVIS Form I-20, visa application fee, visa application forms, and supporting documentation (including copies of the F-1 student’s immigration documents, proof of student status, and financial documentation).

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT F-2 STATUS
After dependents arrive in Pittsburgh, the F-1 student must upload a copies of their dependents’: passport biographic page, visa stamp, and I-94. You can upload these documents in My OIS (select Biographical Information and then choose Update Immigration Documents).

Dependent children over age 21 are not eligible for F-2 status and will need to change to another status such as F-1 (for full time students) prior to their 21st birthday if they wish to remain in the U.S.

EMPLOYMENT
The F-2 spouse and children of an F-1 student may not accept employment in the U.S. However, they may do volunteer work as long as there is no compensation of any kind and the F-2 dependent is doing a job usually done by volunteers.

STUDY
F-2 dependents may participate in part-time study in any certified program at a school certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), so long as the study does not amount to what regulations define as full time for an F-1 student.

F-2 children can attend kindergarten through 12th grade full time.

The regulations allow F-2 dependents to participate up to full time in vocational or recreational studies, such as hobbies. However, an F-2 dependent who wants to enroll full time in a course of post-secondary academic or vocational study must apply for and obtain approval to change their nonimmigrant classification to F-1 before beginning their full-time study. Read the final rule: 80 FR 23680 (April 29, 2015) .

Only the spouse and minor children (under age 21) who accompany the primary visa holder in the U.S. may receive J-2 dependent status. Their eligibility to stay legally in the U.S., as well as to extend their stay, is contingent upon the J-1 exchange visitor maintaining legal status. Once the J-1 has completed their program and subsequent grace period, the J-2 dependents must leave as well. The J-2 dependent may be admitted into the U.S., if each dependent presents a Form DS-2019 issued in his or her own name and an J-2 visa. J-1 exchange visitors can either apply for dependents to receive a DS-2019 when the OIS creates the J-1 initial DS-2019 or during their program through My OIS.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO OBTAIN AN J-2 VISA
The following documents should be taken to the visa interview: valid passport, photographs, J-2 dependent SEVIS Form DS-2019, visa application fee, visa application forms, and supporting documentation (including copies of the J-1’s immigration documents, proof of J-1 program, and financial documentation).

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT J-2 STATUS
After dependents arrive in Pittsburgh, the J-1 exchange visitor must upload a copies of their dependents’: passport biographic page, visa stamp, and I-94. You can upload these documents in My OIS (select Biographical Information and then choose Update Immigration Documents).

Immigration regulations require that all J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents be covered by health insurance while participating in the exchange visitor program.

Dependent children over age 21 are not eligible for J-2 status and will need to change to another status such as F-1 (for full time students) prior to their 21st birthday if they wish to remain in the U.S.

EMPLOYMENT
J-2 employment may be authorized in by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service for 12 months or for the J-1 principal’s authorized stay as indicated on Form I-94 and Form DS-2019, whichever is shorter. If the J-1 principal’s authorized period of stay is extended or is longer than 12 months, the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) may be renewed once a year.

For more information on applying for an Employment Authorization, refer to J2 Employment Authorization Procedures

After obtaining the EAD, the J-2 spouse may apply for a Social Security Card and will be subject to federal, state, and local income tax on their earnings.

STUDY
Currently there are no regulatory restrictions on study for J-2 dependents.

Only the spouse and minor children (under age 21) who accompany the primary visa holder in the U.S. may receive H-4 dependent status. Their eligibility to stay legally in the U.S., as well as to extend their stay, is contingent upon the H-1B employee maintaining legal status. The spouse and minor children (under age 21) of an H-1B worker may obtain H-4 status one of two ways: If outside the U.S., the spouse and/or minor children may apply for H-4 status at a U.S. Consulate using a copy of the H-1B approval notice and other support documentation, as indicated at the Consulate’s website. If inside the U.S., the spouse and/or minor children may apply for H-4 status with a USCIS Service Center using Form I-539 and supporting documentation. This form can and should be filed concurrently with applications for H-1B status, when applicable.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT H-4 STATUS
After dependents arrive in Pittsburgh, the H-1B exchange visitor must upload a copies of their dependents’: passport biographic page, visa stamp, and I-94. You can upload these documents in My OIS (select Biographical Information and then choose Update Immigration Documents).

H-4 dependents must file for an extension of status when the H-1B extension application is filed, as H-4 status does not automatically extend when the H-1B status is extended.

Once the H-1B primary has completed his or her program and has left the U.S., the H-4 dependents must depart the U.S., as well.

Dependent children over age 21 are not eligible for H-4 status and will need to change to another status such as F-1 (for full time students) if they wish to stay in the U.S.

EMPLOYMENT
Individuals in H-4 status are not permitted to work in the United States.

STUDY
Currently there are no regulatory restrictions on study for H-4 dependents.