Options for Two Foreign Students Who Get Married in the US

Thứ Sáu, 21 Tháng Ba 201400:00(Xem: 26333)
Options for Two Foreign Students Who Get Married in the US
When two foreign students marry in the US, both of them can remain full time F1 students or one of them may change to F2 status. Why change from F1 to F2? There are a number of reasons for such a choice.

A common reason is that the couple may want to start a family. Or one of them might just want to take time off from study. Time off is not permitted as an F1 student. Or one of them might want some time to study English or Buddhism or Yoga, take tennis lessons, spend more time on personal projects, or simply enjoy the freedom that an F2 has. The F2 holder can travel in and out of the U.S. or remain in the U.S. continuously as long as the F2 visa is valid. The F2 visa is valid as long as the F-1 visa holder maintains valid status. The F2 holder loses status when the F1 loses status.

There are two things that the F2 spouse cannot do. He or she cannot accept paid employment of any kind, and cannot enroll in courses leading to a degree.

The F2 spouse may study something that is a hobby, or recreational, or does not lead to a degree, such as English language study. Any full time study, even if recreational in nature, is prohibited. Even part time study that counts towards a degree requirement is considered a status violation.

Changing from F1 to F2 will require proof that F-2 applicants and/or the F1 spouse have sufficient financial resources to meet all of their expenses while in the USA. For example, bank statements, affidavits of support, etc.

How to make the change from F1 to F2? It’s not difficult and there are no worries about whether a consular officer will refuse the F2 status.

First, a new dependent I-20 needs to be obtained from the F1’s university. This is submitted with a Change of Status form to CIS. As soon as CIS approves the application, an F2 dependent visa will be issued.

Q.1. Is it possible for an F2 holder to do voluntary work for a charitable or non-profit organization?
A.1. Yes, voluntary work is acceptable as long as the volunteer does not receive payment of any kind.

Q.2. Is it possible for an F2 holder to change back to F1 status?
A.2. Yes, going back to F1 status is possible, though it will require all of the application materials to be submitted again to the university and to CIS.

Q.3. Is it true that the change from F1 to F2 can be done on line?
A.3. Yes, the I-539 can be submitted to CIS online. Payment would be by credit card and CIS would provide email notifications and text messages. Also, the applicant could obtain real time, detailed case status information.
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