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Are you getting ready to leave your native country behind and travel to a new place that will change your life? Are you thinking of going on this trip with your spouse or parent under the US F2 Visa, sometimes called the Student Dependent Visa, because they have been studying or accepted into a US student program? If so, fasten your seatbelt because we’re going to help each other negotiate the tricky waters of the visa interview!

Consider the interview for your visa as a broad, deep river. The questions can feel endless, much like rushing water. But do not worry! This is a reliable guide for you. Together, let’s navigate these waters by canoeing through the top 15 frequently asked questions you may encounter, complete with advice and sample responses to aid you along the way!

1. What is your purpose for going to the United States?

First and foremost, they want to know why you’re embarking on this journey. They’re asking you to define your expedition, your quest!

Tip: Be sincere. Explain how your spouse’s or parent’s education has influenced your decision to live with them in the United States.

Sample Answer: “My spouse has been accepted into a graduate program at XYZ University. We have always been supportive of each other’s goals, and we believe this is an important phase of our lives that we should experience together.”

2. How long do you plan to stay in the United States?

Think of this as the interviewer asking about your journey’s timeline. Do you have a return ticket, or are you planning on setting up camp indefinitely?

Tip: Your answer should align with the duration of the student’s course. The US F2 visa is designed for temporary stays.

Sample Answer: “I plan to stay in the U.S. for the duration of my spouse’s 2-year master’s program. We’ll be returning to our home country after his graduation.”

3. What is your spouse’s university name and when did they first go to the U.S.?

This question confirms basic but crucial details about your spouse’s education and travel history.

Tip: Be accurate and clear about the university name and the date of first entry. Any misinformation can raise red flags.

Sample Answer: “My spouse is enrolled at Stanford University. They first traveled to the U.S. on September 1, 2023.”

4. When did you marry, and can you show us your photo album?

This question helps validate the authenticity of your relationship.

Tip: It’s important to have key dates clear in your mind. Remember, it’s perfectly fine and normal for the embassy to ask for your wedding photos or any other proof of your relationship.

Sample Answer: “We got married on April 5, 2022. I’d be more than happy to show you our wedding album. Here you go.”

5. Do you have any family or friends in the United States?

This question is a subtle probe into your potential support network, like asking if you have a safety boat alongside your canoe.

Tip: Honesty is key here. Having family or friends in the U.S. is neither a positive nor a negative.

Sample Answer: “Yes, my spouse’s uncle lives in New York. However, we won’t be depending on him as we’re planning to live in California, where my spouse’s university is located.”

Sample Answer: “No, we don’t have anyone in the US”

6. How will you finance your stay in the U.S?

This question dives into the logistics of your journey. They’re asking, “Have you stocked enough supplies for your trip?”

Tip: Show evidence of financial stability and your ability to finance your stay without resorting to unauthorized work. Provide income sources such as salary, savings, business, rental properties, investments such as stocks and real estate, etc. Mention the annual income from each source so that it is easier for the visa officer to understand your financial situation.

Sample Answer: “My parents will be supporting us financially. They own Jewelry Business which generates $50,000 annually. Moreover, they have a rental income of $5000 through 5 story building in Nakhu, Kathmandu. My spouse has also received a scholarship of $15,000 which will aid in our living costs.”

7. How can you assure us that you’ll return to your home country?

This question is checking your compass, verifying if it’s pointing back home after your journey.

Tip: Provide solid proof of your strong ties to your home country.

Sample Answer: “We have strong family and professional ties in our home country. Besides, the purpose of our stay is strictly temporary—limited to the period of my spouse’s education.”

8. Have you been to the United States before?

This question is about your previous journeys, like asking, “Have you paddled this river before?”

Tip: Be truthful. Prior visits can help, but if it’s your first time, that’s perfectly okay too.

Sample Answer: “No, this will be our first time in the U.S. We’re excited about the new experiences awaiting us.”

9. What will you do in your free time?

They want a peek into your plans. Will you be sitting idle in your camp, or do you have any recreational activities lined up?

Tip: Explain how you’ll spend your time productively, whether that’s learning, volunteering, or taking care of your family.

Sample Answer: “I plan to engage in community activities and explore the rich cultural and historical sites in the area. I’m also considering taking up some non-degree courses such as Graphic Design.”

10. Can you tell us more about your life in your home country and how you think it will help you adapt to the U.S. culture?

This question allows the interviewer to understand your social, cultural, and lifestyle background better. It also lets them gauge your adaptability skills, which are crucial for adjusting to a new environment in the U.S.

Read Also: How do I Prepare For F-1?

Tip: Share more about your daily life, interests, hobbies, and social activities that show you’re an adaptable, open-minded individual who appreciates diverse cultures.

Sample Answer: “In my home country, I’ve always been active in my community, participating in various cultural and social events through Nepal Red Cross Society and Youth Clubs. This has helped me understand and respect diverse views and lifestyles. I am confident that this open-mindedness and eagerness to engage with new experiences will help me adapt quickly to the U.S. culture.”

11. What is your current profession?

This question lets them peek into your current life.

Tip: Be straightforward and give a brief description of your current job role. If you’re not working, be candid about that too.

Sample Answer: “I’m currently working as a receptionist for a leading tech company called Nitro Tech in New Delhi. I’m planning to take a sabbatical during our stay in the U.S.”

12. What is your spouse’s plan after graduation?

This question checks your foresight and intention to return.

Tip: Your answer should highlight your intention to return to your home country once the studies are over. Try to be specific on exactly what your spouse wants to do. It could be either they want to improve IT sector by working at a leading tech company in your country.

Sample Answer: “After graduation, my spouse plans to apply the financial skills and knowledge acquired to better our home country’s banking industry. We fully intend to return and apply the international exposure to our professional lives.”

13. Will you work while in the U.S?

This question is a test of your understanding of the rules and regulations of the Dependent Visa. Can you distinguish between the rights of a tourist and a resident?

Tip: Remember, working under a US F2 Visa is not permitted. Be direct and assertive in your response.

Sample Answer: “No, I am aware that the F2 Visa doesn’t allow me to work. I will be focusing on my family while my spouse studies.”

14. Have you or your spouse considered alternative plans if the visa isn’t approved?

This question is designed to check your preparedness for different outcomes.

Tip: Show that you’re optimistic about your application, but you’re also prepared to accept whatever decision comes.

Sample Answer: “While we’re hopeful about the visa approval, we have considered alternative plans. My spouse may pursue the program online or look for similar programs in our home country.”

15. How will you manage your children’s education (if applicable) while in the U.S.?

This question aims to understand your commitment to your family’s well-being and your future plans.

Tip: Highlight your plans for your children’s education. Mention any research you’ve done into schooling options, if applicable.

Sample Answer: “Our children’s education is our top priority. We’ve researched schools near the university and have found some promising options. We’ll ensure their schooling is uninterrupted during our stay.”

How to Get an F-1 Visa

Studying at a college or university in the United States is a dream for many international students, but leaving behind a loved one can be a hard decision. If you are on an F-1 student visa, you may have the option of bringing your dependents with you.

An F-2 visa is a type of visa that allows dependents of F-1 student visa holders to move to the U.S. and live with the F-1 student while they complete their degree programs at approved U.S. colleges or universities.

To be eligible for an F-2 visa, applicants should fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be a spouse of an approved F-1 visa foreign national
  • Be an unmarried child under the age of 21 of an approved F-1 visa foreign national
  • Have the financial capacity to support their stay in the U.S.

The eligibility of the F-2 visa is normally based on the status of the F-1 visa holder.

How to get an F-1 visa

Before foreign nationals can apply for their dependents to come to the U.S., they must first apply to a university or college that’s been approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, or SEVP, and obtain an F-1 visa. Once they’ve successfully gained admission, the designated school official (DSO) will provide the F-1 student with Form I-20.

Form I-20 includes details such as the purpose of the visa, a list of estimated expenses and the length of the F-1 visa program. In the form, the F-1 visa holder may also indicate that he or she wishes to apply for F-2 visa status for their dependents. With this information, the SEVP educational institution may also provide additional Form I-20s for each dependent the F-1 visa holder wants to bring to the U.S. The foreign national applying for an F-1 visa will have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee of $350.

After receiving Form I-20, you’ll then need to complete DS-160, a nonimmigrant visa application you can complete online. Print out DS-160 ensuring that the barcode is included and visible and include the receipt of payment when submitting your requirements. The visa application fee for DS-160 is $160. 

Next, schedule an interview at the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your home country. You will need to bring several documents to your F-1 visa interview, including the following:

  • Valid passport
  • Complete Form DS-160
  • The payment receipt for your application fee
  • Passport photo (see requirements)
  • Complete Form I-20

You may also be requested to submit proof of your academic qualifications to study in the U.S. Examples of these documents can include your academic transcripts and your TOEFL, SAT/ACT, GRE, and GMAT scores. Documents that demonstrate your financial capacity and show your intent to return to your home country after completing your studies in the U.S. should also be submitted.

During the interview, the consular officer may ask you questions about your intent to study in the U.S. and your chosen field. The interviewer will then decide whether to deny or approve your application for an F-1 visa. Approved applicants will need to provide their passports for visa stamping. The interviewer will also inform you whether you can pick up your passport yourself or if it will be sent to you in the mail.

After receiving your F-1 visa stamp, you can enter the U.S. up to 30 days before your educational program starts.

The process of applying for an F-2 visa is fairly straightforward. Below is the application process in easy-to-follow steps to help you prepare for what you need to do.

1. Obtain a Form I-20 from the approved school

The DSO is normally responsible for handing out Form I-20s for you and your dependents at an approved university or educational institution.

You may have to inform the DSO of your intention to bring your spouse and/or minor children with you with nonimmigrant dependent F-2 visas, after which you and your dependents will each be provided with your own Form I-20 to fill out.

2. Complete the online Form DS-160

After you have received your Form I-20, the next step is to complete Form DS-160, the application for a nonimmigrant visa. Have in mind that you won’t be able to complete Form DS-160 without the Form I-20 from your SEVP-approved school.

Form DS-160 can only be completed and submitted online on the Consular Electronic Application Center of the U.S. Department of State (DOS). 

After you fill out this application form and submit it, you’ll be taken to a confirmation page that generates a unique barcode for your application. Print this barcode and bring it with you to your visa interview appointment. The information that you provide on your visa application will be used to process it.

3. Pay the visa application fee

Each dependent for whom you are requesting an F-2 visa for will have to pay the application fee of $160. Depending on your home country, you may also have to pay a visa issuance fee. Once you’ve made the payments that apply to you, keep the receipts; you’ll need them later on during your interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy.

4. Schedule your visa interview

After you have completed your visa application and paid your fees, the next step is to schedule a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country of residence. Visa interviews are usually held on a first-come, first-serve basis and may be scheduled for months in advance. This makes it important for you to schedule your appointment early. Once you schedule your interview, a confirmation will be sent to your email. You will need to print this interview appointment confirmation to show to the officials when you arrive for your visa interview.

5. Gather all important documents

You may refer to the list of recommended documents above so you know what to provide during the interview. Organize the receipts and documents and group them together according to who they are for—you, your spouse or your children. Failure to bring required documents may result in unnecessary delays and, in worse case scenarios, may lead to application denial. 

6. Go to your interview

Arriving early on your interview date is a good idea. Have all your documents, including your proof of financial capability. You will present them to your interviewer, who will ask you questions about your intent to study in the U.S. and desire to bring your spouse or children with you.

Final Thoughts

F-2 visas allow spouses and minor children of F-1 students to enter the U.S. to live with the F-1 student for the duration of the educational program. However, this does not allow you to work in the U.S. or study full-time. The good news is that you may have the option to apply for an adjustment of status to a different type of visa that will allow you to work or pursue a degree.

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