Dependents and Families

Inviting a Family Member

Family members of a student may apply for a B-2 visa to visit the student or attend a graduation ceremony in the United States. Click here for more information.

How to Apply

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary by U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please consult the instructions on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

  • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in your passport.
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview.
  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.

Note: Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant's residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a visitor visa but if you would like to include an invitation letter, you can find a template letter here. If you choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember it is not one of the factors used in determining whether to issue or deny the visa.


F-2 dependents are not permitted to be employed. J-2 dependents may apply for work authorization. Please make an appointment with an ISO staff member to apply for J-2 work authorization.


F-2 dependents may study part-time at a college or university but may attend K-12 schools full-time. If an F-2 would like to study full-time, he/she will need to change status to F-1. Information about that can be found here (link to Change of Status page under Newly Admitted students)

J-2 dependents may study full-time with no restrictions.

Parent Services

The Office of Parent and Family Services is available to help parents, families, and students navigate college together. A list of their services and resources is available on their website.