Bringing Family to the United States

There are two ways students and scholars can bring family to the United States:

[1] If the family member is your spouse or dependent child (unmarried children under age 21) they are eligible for dependent status. The dependent status lasts for the duration of the primary visa holder’s status.

  1. Contact your US embassy or consulate ahead of time to find out which documents are required. Officials expect to see proof of adequate financial support for each family member, along with all I-20s or DS-2019s issued to you by Michigan Tech.
  2. If you want to bring your spouse or dependent child to the US as an F-2 or J-2 dependent, please fill this Google form.
    Documents required to be uploaded in the Google form: 
    1. Your current I-20 or DS-2019
    2. Personal information pages of your dependent’s passports. Each dependent's documents should be uploaded in separate sections, so do not combine everything into a single pdf.
    3. Properly filled Dependent Request Form
    4. Proof of financial support for you and your family members (you must show the amount you originally needed for your course of study), plus an additional $4,000 for your spouse and $2,500 per child to cover their living expenses.
    5. One of the following two, as applicable: 
      1. Affidavit of Financial Support (undergraduate students)
      2. Certification of Finances Form (graduate students)
  3. For F-1 students, IPS will email you the new F-2 I-20 for your dependents once it is prepared. Since USCIS does not require wet signatures on I-20s anymore, we will not be sending you a hard copy of your I-20s, and similarly, you do not need to mail the physical I-20s to your dependents in your home country. You can just email them the I-20s and they can take print-outs of those. Be sure to include your primary F-1 I-20 as well, with your valid signature on the first page. For J-1 scholars, IPS will contact you when your dependents' J-2 DS-2019s are prepared and ready to be collected. You must come to our office (Admin 200) with your Michigan Tech ID to collect them. After that, you must sign the front page of your primary J-1 DS-2019, and mail all the documents to your dependents in your home country.
  4. Their next step is to schedule a visa appointment at the US embassy or consulate.
  5. After your dependents obtain visas, they can travel to the US. Within 30 days after arrival you must arrange for their health insurance. If you are currently insured by UnitedHealthcare, you can apply for dependent insurance at additional cost. If you are with another insurance company, contact it for information. To learn more about insurance for dependents, you may contact the Student Insurance Office in Human Resources, or email or call 906-487-1088.

[2] If family members are not a spouse or dependent child (for example, a parent, sibling, child older than 21, or fiancée), they can apply for B-2 tourist status. The maximum length for B-2 status is six months.

How to start the B2 visa interview process:

  • Write a letter of invitation. Include the purpose of the visit, your relationship to the individuals, a statement of your status here, itinerary details, and the length of time they will visit. Emphasize that the visit is temporary, and family members intend to return to their home country. If you will support them financially while they are here, include that information as well. Include an Enrollment Verification Letter to confirm your student status. Log into MyMichiganTech, Students, Student Records and Enrollment Verification. Graduate students who hold an RA/TA appointment may attach a departmental funding letter.
  • If you are graduating and family is traveling to attend your commencement ceremony, submit the Request for Graduation Invitation Letter.
  • The US Department of State offers more details about how to apply and other visa information.

Providing family members with strong documentation can improve their chances of obtaining visas, but there are no guarantees. Please note that IPS staff cannot write letters of invitation for your family members.