I am F1 visa holder since I am a graduate student at the University X and my visa has expired in March of 2022 and I did not renew my visa since then. This fall I am joining University Y as postdoc and I am planning to bring my family (wife+child) to US. So I need to make F2 visa for them. So if I'll stay in US can they come to US without my accompaniment? Or should they only enter US only with me?

Thanks in advance for any useful response!

  • There are two issues at hand: (1) what's legally allowable, and (2) whether your dependents can overcome the presumption of immigrant intent to get an F-2 visa. Depending on your circumstances, (2) may be easy or very difficult or anywhere in between.
    – krubo
    May 25 at 1:25
  • @krubo, why it might be so difficult to get an F2 visa for my dependents? Am I missing something? But immigrant intent can be applied to everyone, right?
    – RFZ
    May 25 at 2:18
  • The difficulty varies widely and yes, it can apply to everyone, but it is a reason why you may have read conflicting advice on this topic. Having a spouse+child in your home country would usually help overcome the presumption of immigrant intent. In contrast, bringing your family with you---and especially bringing them only once you got a job in the US, and especially sending for them while remaining in the US yourself---might increase the presumption of immigrant intent.
    – krubo
    May 25 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


As long as you are in F1 status, your spouse and children can get F2 visas and enter the US in F2 status. They do not need to enter with you. Your F1 I-94 and I-20 can help show your F1 status.

  • Thanks for your reply! But how to be sure that I have an active F1 status? My visa has expired more than year ago and I did not leave US since then. My previous F1 visa has been attached to University X but if I'll move to postdoc position at the University Y so in that case I do not need to renew my visa since I am travelling inside US. So my family will be granted F2 visa which is attached to the University Y but I don't have an active F1 visa from the new University (Y).
    – RFZ
    May 24 at 16:06
  • @ZFR: US visas are only for entry, and are irrelevant to your stay inside the US. You have an F1 I-94 and an active I-20 from University Y.
    – user102008
    May 24 at 16:37
  • So even if I stay in US with expired F1 they can travel alone to US? I read somewhere that F2 holders should be accompanied with F1 holder during the US entrance for the first time.
    – RFZ
    May 24 at 17:30
  • 1
    @ZFR: You are in F1 status. That's what matters. That you have an expired visa, or no visa at all, doesn't matter, because, again, visas are only for entry.
    – user102008
    May 24 at 22:19

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