You can request F-2 status for your legal spouse and/or unmarried dependent children under 21. You must be in valid F-1 status for your dependents to qualify for F-2 status.
Requesting F-2 Status for Dependents
Submit a request to the International Center. You must attach a copy of the passport identification page for each dependent and also provide financial documents showing that you have sufficient resources for at least one year of living expenses for your family members.
You must document at least $6000 for a spouse and $3000 for each additional child
The International Center will review your request and issue separate I-20s for each F-2 dependent.
F-2 dependents must apply for an F-2 visa from a US consulate overseas (exception: Canadian citizens do not require entry visas) and enter with their own I-20s.
If your F-2 dependents are applying for visas and/or coming to the US separately from you, they should carry copies of your I-20, passport, F-1 visa, I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt, and financial documents.
Study and Employment in F-2 Status
F-2 dependents have limited study privileges and are not allowed to work while in the US.
F-2 spouses may study, but only on a part-time basis; full-time study is not permitted
F-2 children are allowed to attend elementary or secondary school
Children lose F-2 eligibility once they reach 21
If your F-1 status ends for any reason, your dependents lose F-2 status