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Can an F-2 spouse study in the U.S.?

By March 29, 2023Immigration
A man studying in front of a computer

Can F-2 spouses study in the U.S.?

Yes, F-2 spouses can study at post-secondary/vocational programs – they can enroll in less than a full course of study at SEVP-certified schools for certain programs such as post-graduate study at college/university, undergraduate study at college/university, postsecondary language, liberal arts, fine arts, or other non-vocational program at a school which confers upon its graduates recognized associate or other degrees or has established that its credits have been and are accepted unconditionally by at least three other institutions of higher learning, or study in any other language, liberal arts, fine arts, or other nonvocational training program, certified by a designated school official.

It is important that the F-2 spouses do not enroll in  “full course of study” and you should speak with an experienced immigration attorney to find out whether it’s fine to attend a particular program on an F-2 visa or whether you should apply for an F-1 visa.

Please note that F-2 spouses may engage in study that is avocational/recreational in nature (e.g. hobbies), even it it’s on full-time basis.

Can F-2 children study in the U.S.?

F-2 children may engage in full-time study, including any full course of study, in any elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade).

Please note that F-1/F-2 visas are highly regulated visa categories and there are many specific rules what is and is not allowed in terms of studying and you should speak with an experienced immigration attorney prior to enrolling in any program if you are in the U.S. on an F-2 visa.

Please see our blog post on Whether the primary F-1 visa holder can volunteer in the U.S. here.

Please see our blog post on What is OPT and CPT here.

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