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Changing to F-2/J-2 Status

In this Section

A change of status is a change of one’s primary purpose for being in the United States. Those presently in the United States in a nonimmigrant status that want to move to dependent status will need to apply for a change of status by either -

  1. Travel - exit the U.S. – obtain the proper visa – and – ‘re-enter’ using the new visa

  2. Submit an application with USCIS (US Customs & Immigration Services) and receive a new status.

    1. Important Note – USCIS does not issue visas and if approved you will need to obtain a visa stamp if you plan to travel out of the country

To request F-2/J-2 Dependent I-20/DS-2019

  • To request a dependent I-20/DS-2019 please submit the following to ISSS:

    • Dependent Request Form (link to form)

    • Certification of Finances with supporting financial documentation

    • Copy of dependent passport

Changing status through travel –

  • Receive a dependent I-20 or DS-2019 from ISSS and travel out of the country to apply for an F-2 or J-2 entry visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy

    • To apply for a new visa, you will need to show;

      • Your original dependent I-20 (F-2) or DS-2019 (J-2) signed by your international adviser (ISSS) and you

      • Valid passport

      • Proof of your dependent relationship to F-1 or J-1 primary

      • Financial documentation used for I-20 or DS-2019 issuance

      • SEVIS fee receipt

    • Notes –

      • You should carry all documents shown for your visa stamp (SEVIS fee receipt – financial documentation – passport – I-20/DS-2019)

      • Upon clearing inspection at the U.S. Port of Entry – you will receive a new I-94…please review to be sure the correct visa classification was noted

Changing status to F-2/J-2 through USCIS (link to checklist)

  • Form I-539: “Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status” and application fee of $370. This check should be made payable to “Department of Homeland Security”. Write your 11-digit “admission number” from your I-94 card on the front of your check.
    NOTE - please check USCIS website for current filing fees - form - and - instructions.
  • A copy of your signed dependent I-20/DS-2019 from ISSS

  • A copy of the financial documentation you submitted for your dependent I-20/DS-2019.

  • A copy of your passport and original I-94 card or electronic I-94 page. Note: USCIS will generate a new I-94 card as part of the change of status approval notice.

  • A copy of the F-1 or J-1 principle I-20 – I-94 card or electronic I-94 page – passport – visa stamp or approval notice

  • Proof of your dependent relationship to the F-1/J-1 principle

  • Mail to (update) – USCIS Dallas Lockbox – File all ‘other’ I-539 applications – please verify filing information at < Forms<Where to File

  • For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Deliveries:


  • PO Box 660867

  • Dallas, TX 75266

  • For Express Mail and courier deliveries:


  • Attn: AOS

  • 2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business

  • Suite 400

  • Lewisville, TX 75067

  • Processing Times will vary. Please report the response of your change of status to International Student & Scholar Services as soon as you receive notification from USCIS.

Please contact International Student & Scholar Services with any questions or concerns.