Can immigrants on a student visa bring along a spouse?

International students in the United States can have their spouses come along with them while on a study permit. However, since you are provided with an F-1 or J-1, your spouse would be issued an F-2 and J-2 visa. This post is about the process it takes for immigrants on a student visa to bring along a spouse and more.

What is the process of bringing a spouse along?

According to the regulations prescribed by the U.S. government, you have to be married legally to get a dependent visa status. As an international student, you would behave to add the spouse’s record to your application.

However, there are restrictions, and here are the restrictions:

  • Spouses you bring into the country with an F-2 visa cannot study to get an academic degree or fulfil an educational objective. But, it is possible to attend recreational classes on cooking, language, or writing courses.
  • The F-2 Visa holders who are dependent spouses of international students cannot get a job legally.
  • For the J-2 visa holders, spouses can get a job to cater to their needs, but they have to apply for a work authorization permit.

Note, as an immigrant on a student, the choice of visa affects your spouse or dependent when you finally come over to the U.S. One allows your spouse to apply for a work permit, while the other doesn’t let them work or get an academic degree.

Requirements for an F-2 or J-2 Visa for Your Spouse

For your spouse to come along with you as an immigrant on a student visa, you would need them to fill an application form. The main things that are to be in the form are:

  • A scanned copy of your spouse’s biographical data is on the passport page.
  • Proof of financial resources that can cover your spouse for the remaining time of your studies or the following year. This is reliant on which one is shorter than the other.

Note that not all spouses would need a U.S. entry visa as Canadian citizens can come into the country without an entry visa.


As an immigrant with a student visa, it is possible to come with a spouse while your visa is still valid. However, depending on your visa, not all spouses are allowed to work or attain an academic degree. The requirement is just proof of funds and other immigration details.

Learn more about Can I bring my family along if I already migrated to the US?

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