Invite Family Members

During your stay at UC Santa Cruz, you may want to have a family member accompany or visit you in the U.S. Below is information to help your family members obtain their U.S. visas.

Adding a Dependent

F-1 and J-1 students may request an F-2 I-20 or J-2 DS-2019 for their non-U.S. citizen spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21. Your dependents must provide these documents during their visa interview or in their change of status applications.

To add a dependent to your program:

  1. Submit a completed F-2/J-2 Dependent Request during walk-in advising hours or by appointment.
  2. Attach evidence of financial support for you and your dependent(s).
  3. An F-2 I-20 or J-2 DS-2019 will be issued by ISSS within 5 business days.

Please see an International Student Advisor regarding F-2/J-2 visa applications at a U.S. embassy/consulate overseas, or change of status applications in the U.S.

Working as a Dependent: F-2 dependents are NOT eligible to work in the U.S. J-2 dependents are eligible, but a work permit (EAD) from USCIS is required.

Studying as a Dependent: F-2 dependents may NOT study full-time in a degree program, but can enroll part-time. F-2 dependents are allowed to engage in full-time studies that are merely vocational or recreational in nature. F-2 children in primary and secondary schools may be eligible to study part-time or full-time in the U.S. There are no regulatory restrictions on J-2 study.


Inviting Extended Family to the U.S.

Extended family (parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.) and domestic partners are not eligible to come to the U.S. as "dependents" in F-2 or J-2 status. They must instead apply for a B-1/B-2 Visitor visa or come to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. To facilitate the process of applying for a B-1/B-2 visitor visa, students or scholars can do the following (optional):

1. Write a letter of invitation

Include the purpose of the visit, your relationship to the individual, a statement of your status here, and the length of time the family will be visiting (usually less than three months). If the individual visiting has a job to which they plan to return, it is good to mention it. If the student or scholar plans to provide for the indivivdual's support while they are in the U.S., include that information as well.

2. Obtain a letter of verification

Undergraduate students can request an Enrollment Verification from the Registrar's Office to formally confirm their student status at UCSC. Please visit the Registrar's website to learn more about this service.

Graduate students can request a letter from their department explaining that they are in good standing and verifying any funding being provided by the department.

Scholars can request a letter from the department staff person who assists visiting scholars or the host professor. The letter should indicate that you are a scholar in good standing in the department, your reason for being here, that you wish to return to your home country at the end of your research or teaching, and, if applicable, the amount of funding being provided by the department.

3. Request a financial statement from your bank (if no salary is being received)

Providing family members with the above documents may improve their chances of obtaining a visa. However, there is no guarantee a visa will be issued. The success of the applicant's visa request lies in their ability to prove that they have no intention of staying permanently in the U.S.