If your spouse or minor children will accompany you and remain in the USA while you pursue your academic program, you will have to provide additional proof of financial support for each person. Each dependent will be issued a separate I-20 and will have to apply for a passport and an F-2 visa.
Dependents may enter the U.S. with, or after the F-1 student, but never before. Dependents may not remain in the U.S. after the F-1 student departs unless it is a temporary absence of five months or less. Dependents must have a valid I-20 every time they re-enter the United States.
F-2 visa status is contingent upon the primary F-1 visa holder’s status. While the F-1 student remains in lawful status, dependents maintain lawful F-2 status. If the F-1 student falls out of status, so does the dependent. F-2 dependents may not work or enroll as full-time, degree-seeking students, but may engage in part-time incidental/recreational classes. Minor F-2 dependents may enroll in primary and secondary education.
There are limited housing options for families so it is important to notify the International Office as soon as possible in order to reserve appropriate space.