When one F-1 student is married to another F-1 student, sometimes one will decide to become dependent on the other, and seek a change of visa status to F-2. This is the procedure to change status from F-1 to F-2:

1. Inform the International Student Advisers (DSO’s) of both F-1 students about the decision. The one who will change to F-2 must make arrangements with his/her DSO for the withdrawal or termination of his/her SEVIS record as a student if he/she has not yet completed his/her program.

2. The DSO of the remaining F-1 student will create a SEVIS record for the new F-2 spouse through the F-1’s SEVIS record, and issue a dependent form I-20.

3. The spouse who is changing status to F-2 must file for a change of status with USCIS by submitting a Form I-539 with fee and accompanying documents.
Follow carefully the I-539 application instructions. The application packet must include:
Dependent Form I-20
Form I-539
Fee payment (see www.uscis.gov for filing fees)
Photocopies of Forms I-20 of both students (all previous I-20’s)
Forms I-94 of both students (see I-539 application instructions to
determine whether to send a photocopy or the original I-94).
Proof of family relationship to the F-1 principal
Evidence of financial capability
Photocopies of passports and visas of both students

4. Make 2 sets of photocopies of all application documents, and give one set to the F-1’s DSO. Keep the other set for your own records.

5. Send the I-539 application packet to:
USCIS Dallas Lockbox USCIS Dallas Lockbox - Attn:I-539
PO Box 660166 2501 S. State Hwy 121, Business Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75266 Lewisville, TX 75067

6. The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISSS) recommends including a Form G-1145 in order to get an email notification about your

7. Inform the DSO of any Requests for Evidence, and also of the results of the adjudication.

8. More information about the I-539 “Application to Change Non-Immigrant Status.

9. OISSS recommends students use the services of an immigration attorney if they find the change of status procedure to be confusing or tedious. OISSS can recommend local attorneys.