Families & Dependents

International family members enjoy ice cream at a summer social
Families & Dependents | CGPS | University of Delaware

Families & Dependents

Many international students and scholars wish to bring their family members with them when they come to UD.  In addition to figuring out the immigration aspects of bringing dependents to the U.S., there are many other practical things to consider. Please see information below on a variety of these topics.

CGPS would like to welcome all J2/F2 visa holders!

We are here to provide you with immigration support and offer additional information and resourses that may help with your adjustment to the U.S culture and traditions.

Apart from the information found on this webpage, CGPS can help connect you to networks and resources in the international community.

J2/F2 visitors who would like help getting connected to groups for international families, please contact us via email at oissprograms@udel.edu

Usually, the best way to bring a spouse and/or children to the U.S. is by using an F-2/J-2 visa. The F-2/J-2 visa is a “dependent” visa to bring family members to the U.S. who will be dependent on the F-1/J-1 visa holder. Students may also want their parents to visit them in the U.S, which may require a B-1/B-2 visa. Read below for important information regarding bringing family members to the U.S.

To qualify for F-2/J-2 status, a spouse or unmarried minor children (under age 21) must establish to the satisfaction of the consular officer and the immigration officer at the port of entry that:

  • He or she is the spouse (marriage license) or child (birth certificate) of the principle F-1/J-1.

  • He or she has sufficient funds to cover his/her expenses, or that other arrangements have been made to provide for such expenses once in the U.S.

  • Required health insurance is adequate (J only).

  • He or she intends to leave the U.S. upon the termination of the status of the principle J-1/F-1.

  • If the dependents are following to join the student, the F-1/J-1, is or will be within 30 days, enrolled in a full course of study.

International students and scholars planning to bring family members to the United States must purchase medical insurance for them.

Undergraduate & Graduate Students & Scholars:

Please submit a Request Dependent I-20/DS-2019 along with a copy of the dependents’ passports to CGPS. 

ELI Students: 

Submit the ELI I-20/DS-2019 Reprint request. To access this form and to watch a video tutorial on how to complete this form, visit the CGPS Forms webpage.


If you have any questions about requesting documents for your dependents, please contact CGPS or an ISS Advisor at CGPS.

Individuals in F-2 status may not accept employment or engage in business under any circumstances.

F-2 spouses may not engage in full-time study.

  • If an F-2 spouse wishes to engage in full-time study, they may not begin the full course of study until a change of status to F-1 is approved. For more information, please email oiss@udel.edu to schedule an appointment.

F-2 spouses and children are permitted to enroll in "less than a full course of study," even if the course of study done part-time leads to or counts towards a degree.

F-2 children may engage in full-time study at the K-12 level.

J-2 dependents are eligible to apply to USCIS for employment authorization so long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1. J-2 dependents can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS in order to be employed in the United States. The J-2 may begin employment only after receiving the EAD from USCIS.

Yes, you can study on a J-2 visa. There is no regulatory restriction on study for J-2 dependents.

Dependents in F-2/J-2 status are permitted to stay in the United States only to the extent that the F-1/J-1 is authorized to stay. F-2/J-2 dependents maintain their status through the F-1/J-1 principal maintaining his or her status. Like F-1/J-1 students and scholars, F-2/J-2 dependents are required to keep their passports valid at least 6 months into the future.

Non-dependent family members, such as parents, cousins, aunts and uncles are not eligible for dependent visas, but may be able to visit you using a tourist visa.  Be aware that tourist visa applicants must show proof of their reason for travel. If your family is coming to see you, you must have valid status in SEVIS.

If you have family coming to the U.S. on the basis of your current F-1 or J-1 visa, we recommend that you check with CGPS two weeks before the planned visa appointment to make sure your affairs are in order. As with all visa appointments, CGPS and the University are not responsible for decisions made by consular officers or port of entry officials. We will do everything we can to provide you the information you need to prove your student or scholar status, but require that you make us aware in advance and that you check your status at least two weeks before your family's appointment.

For Undergraduate and Graduate Students

  1. Make copy of I-20 (1st and 2nd page) or DS-2019

  2. Print out your “Enrollment Verification Certificate”

    1. Log in to UDSIS

    2. Click on “Courses & Enrollment”

    3. Scroll down on left to “Enrollment Verification” and you will be directed to the National Student Clearinghouse

      • Choose “Current Enrollment” for verification of your enrollment for the current term (or your most recent term)

      • Choose “All Enrollment” for verification of all current and past enrollment

      • Choose “Advanced Registration” for verification of enrollment for the upcoming term

    4. CGPS can stamp with raised seal

  3. Optional: Student can write a personal letter to family member inviting them to visit.

In addition to the documents above, family member should contact their embassy or consulate for any additional documents needed.


For ELI Students

  1. Make copy of I-20 (1st and 2nd page) or DS-2019

  2. Go to ELI Student Portal List of Student Forms to complete "Enrollment Verification" form

  3. Optional: Student can write a personal letter to family member inviting them to visit.

In addition to the documents above, family member should contact their embassy or consulate for any additional documents needed.

In addition to the information below and on the CGPS Life in the U.S. webpage, the ELI Family website also has important information for families navigating a new city, country and culture.

Learn about local options on our Housing webpage.

The ELI Family webpage provides a lot of helpful information about schools and daycares.

Public School

Before you enroll a child in school, you need to know which school your child will be attending. If you live in the Newark area, your child will be in the Christina School District. Which school he/she will attend depends on where you are living in the school district. If you need to know where a child should be enrolled, find your assigned school here.

Note: A child must be five on or before August 31 for entry into Kindergarten.
When you know where to enroll your child, go directly to the school. They will require the following:

  • Proof of Residence - This can be a lease or utility bill that has your name on it. If you are renting from an individual, that person should give you a letter stating that you reside at that address.

  • Immunization Record - This is a record of all the shots your child has received from a doctor to protect against disease.

  • Your child's birth certificate.

Please visit the Christina School District website for the Forms & Information needed for registration.

If your child needs language support, they will be enrolled in an ESL (English as a Second Language) class. Complete the home language survey found here or you may complete an application at the school office. If an ESL program is not available at your child's school, your child will be transported to a school that offers the program. Questions regarding the ESL, ELL and Bilingual programs should be addressed to Student Services at (302) 552-2647.

Learn about local options on our Transportation webpage.

There are family doctors and pediatricians all throughout Newark. It is advisable to establish yourself and your family as patients and schedule a “well visit” with your doctors for each person in your family. This will ensure there is not a waiting period if one of you gets sick, as doctors will often only see current patients immediately.

Read more on our Healthcare & Insurance webpage.


Newark is a very family-friendly city. There are many public parks and free or low-cost activities and events for children and their families to enjoy. The City of Newark Parks and Recreation website and New Castle County Parks and Recreation website are both good resources to learn about fun and engaging opportunities in the community. Both sites offer an option to join their mailing list so you can stay informed about everything they offer.

Please also visit our Life in the U.S. & at UD webpage for more information and resources.



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ISSS Disclaimer: The information contained on this web site is provided as a service to international students, faculty, staff, employees, and administrators at the University of Delaware, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax, or other matter. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of official counsel. For assistance on your immigration status, we encourage you to contact an ISS advisor for specific guidance at oiss@udel.edu.