What About Family Members?

“Derivative” Visas
Spouses and minor children (under age 21) of F1 or J1 students may apply for F2 or J2 visas in order to accompany the student to the U.S. or to enter (“following to join” the “principal alien”) at a later date.

Bringing family members to the United States
We must establish that there will be sufficient money to support the principal and the dependents. If you are fully or partially supported by New Mexico Tech, this will involve consultation with your advisor before proceeding with the paperwork. While we sympathize completely with each student’s desire to have his or her family united here in Socorro, we are obligated to insure that the family will be able to live here without resorting to illegal employment. We will be happy to assist with I-20’s or DS-2019’s for your dependents as soon as we feel certain of your financial picture.

How much extra support must I have for each dependent?
You will need about $4,000 for your spouse and $3,010 for each child per year.

Must I purchase medical insurance for them?
If you are a J1 student, yes, you must purchase full medical coverage for each member of your family. If you are an F1 student, the law does not mandate family coverage, but we strongly advise you to purchase insurance for them; medical care in the United States is extremely costly.

What about children who are born in the United States?
Children born in the United States are considered U.S. citizens. As such, they need a U.S. passport to travel abroad and come back into the United States. You should obtain U.S. passports for such children immediately after they are born. This way, if you need to make an emergency trip outside the U.S., you will not need to leave your U.S.-born child here in someone else’s care while you travel abroad.

Do these children need their own I-20 or DS-2019?
No. However, we do include their expenses in your financial calculations. In addition, they may need a visa to travel with you to another country.

Can my F2 or J2 dependents work in the United States?
Dependents in J2 status may apply to CIS for employment authorization; however, they will have to prove that their employment is not needed for the support of the J1 student.

Is it OK for my F2 or J2 dependents to study while in the United States?
F2 and J2 children are welcome to attend public school, Grades K-12. F2 dependents may engage in post-secondary education only if it is not full time and it can be described as “recreational” or “avocational.” Rules about J2 post-secondary education are pending.

What happens when my F2 or J2 children reach 21 years of age?
They must obtain their own independent non-immigrant status or depart the United States.