If you've ever been interested in immigrating to the U.S., you've probably heard of F-1 or F-2 visas. These special type of visas make their way into conversation about US immigration because it is a popular option for young students and their families.
F-1 and F-2 Visas are relevant topics in U.S. immigration because thousands of students (and their dependents) are still admitted each year under this category. For immigrants admitted under this category, these immigrants (F-1) are admitted for educational purposes that aim to benefit both the United States and the applicant's home country.
F-1 visas are not just reserved for individuals pursuing upper level education.
Even though it is commonly given to college students, F-1 Visas can actually be given to children as young as 6 years old. For such young applicants, USCIS imposes much stricter limitations.
One of these extra restrictions is that these young applicants must be enrolled in one of USCIS' Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools and program. These programs will explicitly outline the U.S. schools that are eligible for the program. These schools most likely have special educational programs that go beyond standard curriculum, that help international students succeed.
If my children want to immigrate to the U.S. under this student visa program, can I accompany them to the United States?
The short answer is yes. However, cases where students bring along their family members (F-2) to the United States often require legal counsel that guide you along the process.
Applying for accompanying visas with F-1 applications often require additional forms for the dependents. F-1 Visas are given to the actual students that are seeking educational opportunities in the United States. Their dependents such as family members or guardians, are referred to as F-2 applicants and will typically need to complete separate forms.
With the F-1 student visa programs, these programs introduce definite possibilities of students leaving their families behind. USCIS understands the importance of keeping families together, so they are often more lenient when granting F-2 visas for well-written applications. These opportunities only emphasizes the importance of seeking legal counsel in order to create a thorough, compelling case for USCIS consular officers.
Though F-2 visas are very attractive to many interested applicants, there are also many special rules that need to be considered. Some special restrictions include:
- F-2 Visa holders cannot legally work
- F-2 Visa holders are not eligible for U.S. Social Security Numbers
- May depart or re-enter the U.S. if using proper documentation
These are only a few, but important factors to consider when applying. F-2 visas do have their advantages, but also have many restrictions that may not be suitable for some applicants. Consulting a legal expert that specializes in immigration can give you clarity on your next steps.
It is advisable to seek legal guidance from our office today as we strive to help guide you with your specific case.
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