Change of Status to F-2

An individual may generally apply for a change of status to F-2, if the spouse changes from another nonimmigrant classification to F-1, or if the individual becomes the spouse of an F-1 student. The applicant's current nonimmigrant status must be valid at the time USCIS receives the change of status to F-2 application.

Application Procedure

Individuals who choose to apply for a change of status to F-2, must follow the steps below.

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1. Obtain an F-2 I-20.

Obtain an F-2 I-20. As a University of Minnesota student, the F-1 must request an F-2 I-20 by completing the “Add/Remove a Dependent” form in MyISSS.

2. Obtain the support of an immigration attorney when filing a change of status application with USCIS.

Obtain the support of an immigration attorney when filing a change of status application with USCIS. Student Legal Service (SLS) is available to assist all UMN Twin Cities students paying the Student Services Fee. SLS intake staff will help determine eligibility for services. Alternatively, you may find and hire your own immigration attorney.

3. File your change of status to F-2 application with USCIS

  • To complete Form I-539 online, go to <>, click on “file online,” and create a USCIS account, if you do not already have a USCIS account.
  • Decide if you will request Premium Processing. Applicants may request a premium processing upgrade by filing a Request for Premium Processing and paying the Form I-907 fee. Premium Processing may be requested when filing Form I-539 or after the applicant’s Form I-539 is pending with USCIS. USCIS guarantees it will take adjudicative action on properly filed premium processing cases within 30 calendar days. Otherwise, USCIS will refund the premium processing fee. 
  • After you are signed into your USCIS account, follow the prompts to complete your application, and upload the following required items:

    • Signed and dated letter from the applicant explaining why a change of status to F-2 is neededSigned and dated F-2 Form I-20. The parent or spouse in F-1 status must sign and date the I-20. 
    • Photocopy of applicant’s passport identity page
    • Photocopy of applicant’s Form I-94
    • Proof of funding that is greater than or equal to the funding amount indicated on the I-20 (for example: scholarship offer letter,bank statement, family member's letter of financial support, etc.)
    • Photocopy of F-1 principal’s I-20, F-1 visa (if applicable), passport biographical page, and I-94
    • Proof of family relationship to the F-1 principal, as evidenced by a valid marriage certificate (spouse) or by a valid birth certificate (child)

4. Pay the I-539 form fee online

Pay the I-539 form fee online as the final step of filing your change of status application with USCIS. (Applicants who file Form I-539 are no longer required to pay the biometric services fee as part of the application process. In most cases, change of status to F-2 applicants will not be scheduled to attend a biometric services appointment. However, if USCIS determines that biometrics are required, the applicant will receive a notice with information about appearing for their biometric services appointment).

Check Case Processing Times

After filing Form I-539 change of status applicants will receive a Form I-797C receipt notice. Applicants may use information on the receipt notice to check case processing times.

Change of Status to F-2 Approval

Upon receiving the F-2 change of status approval notice (Form I-797), email to [email protected] a copy of the approval notice, your passport biographical page, and your F-2 I-20. If you were in F-1 status at the University of Minnesota before obtaining F-2 status, also email a completed F-1 Departure Form to [email protected].

Change of Status to F-2 Denial

There is no guarantee that USCIS will approve a change of status request. If you receive an F-2 change of status denial notice (Form I-797), ISSS recommends you notify ISSS by email at [email protected] and consult with an immigration attorney as needed.

Last updated: April 9, 2024