student visa with spouse

Looking for a student visa with your family and spouse? We are the experts. Our law firm Touriago has written this article to help you obtain an F1 visa to study in the United States with your spouse.

Obtaining a student visa with spouse can be actionable but it could be tedious. In the event that you find yourself in this circumstance, then you need specific data on how to manage and deal with the trouble in detail.

Student visa with spouse is normally a package visa but you can apply for an individual student visa or family visa. There are some criteria to follow and you’ll need to provide supporting documents, marriage certificate etc. You may also need money in your bank account as proof that you can look after yourself.

Student Visa with Spouse

If you are a student who is married and planning to study in the United States, you will need to follow a different process than what is outlined above. If your spouse is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States and wishes to join you during the course of your studies, he or she will need to apply for a visitor visa before coming to this country. The process for filing for this type of visa is similar to what we have already discussed above. However, there are some key differences between applying for an F-1 visa or an M-1 visa and applying for a visitor (B-2) visa.

As with any other visa application, your spouse must first file his or her own application at their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas from where they live in their home country before they can come here with you on this type of visa. Once he or she has been approved by U.S. immigration authorities and given a “visa stamp” in their passport by an official at one of these facilities overseas (which usually takes anywhere from 1-3 weeks), he or she can then travel here legally using this document as proof that he/she has permission from U.S.

If you are a student, and your spouse is also a student, then you can apply for a student visa with spouse.

You will need to have proof of marriage and proof that your spouse is a student.

You will also need to pay the visa fee, which can be paid online or at an embassy.

Dependent Spouse Visa Information

Per U.S. government regulations, only married spouses can obtain a dependent visa status. The student, scholar or employee can add a dependent spouse to his or her record, and the spouse can then obtain a dependent visa status (F-2, J-2 or H-4). 

These dependent statuses do have certain restrictions:

  • F-2 spouses cannot work and also cannot study unless the study is “vocational or recreational in nature.”  Recreational classes may include things like language, cooking, or writing courses, but cannot lead to academic objective or degree.
  • J-2 spouses can study, and work if they first obtain work authorization.
  • H-4 spouses of H-1B workers are allowed to study, but they cannot work.

For students, the choice between F-1 and J-1 status will affect their spouses’ work and study options. Please visit our admitted student website to explore qualification requirements and other differences between F and J status.

Adding a Dependent

To add a dependent spouse to your F-1 or J-1 student status, please review the steps on our Adding a Dependent page.
To add a dependent spouse to your J-1 scholar status, please complete this J-1 Scholar Request to Add Dependent form

Other Visa Options

Spouses and partners can also apply for an independent visa status.  Options may include:
1) Visit in B status. For partners who do not want to stay in the U.S. long-term but do want to visit, the B visitor visa is an option. Stays are limited in duration and B visitors must demonstrate non-immigrant intent.
2) Study full-time and obtain a student visa. Many partners choose to study at the same time, so that both partners can obtain independent student visa statuses. The international student office at the school where the partner will attend will sponsor the student visa.
– Learn more about studying at University of Chicago.  Note that most programs at the Graham School of of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies do not qualify students for an F-1 or J-1 visa./
– Learn more about studying at other universities in Illinois
3) Find a job and obtain a work visa. Though not particularly easy, some partners have found jobs that sponsored them for a work visa.  The work visa paperwork will be done by an immigration attorney or experienced human resources department at the employer.

Popular work visa options include:
a. Transfer visa (L-1): Partners currently working for multinational companies could look into transferring to a local office, and obtaining an L-1 visa.
b. H-1B visa: Partners with at least a bachelor’s degree equivalent or higher can obtain an H-1B visa for work within their field.
c. TN visa: A work visa for citizens of Canada and Mexico
d. E-3 visa: A work visa for citizens of Australia

The Dependent Visa is a powerful tool created by countries to help spouses stay with you while you are studying abroad. It allows professionals, students, permanent residents and others to bring their partner along with them to the new country. It is important to check the detailed arrangements, which are derived from the visa of the assigned employee, and any conditions attached to the spouse, partner or other family members for the specific countries. Here will also discuss the student spouse visa work rights.

Details about the specific countries

CountryCan spouse travel with an international student?Work rules for the spouse
CanadaSpouse is allowedSpouse can work with the help of open work permit
AustraliaSpouse is allowed on the  Dependent Visa programDepending upon the degree pursued by the student, their spouse can work
United States of America(USA)Spouse can apply for F-2 or J2 visa to get permission to stay in USAOnly J-2 dependents are given work rights in the USA after proper authorization.
United Kingdom(UK)Spouses are allowed to stay in the UK.Spouse can work in the UK if the international student studying there for more than 12 months 
GermanySpouse can come with German Residence PermitSpouse holding German family visa can work there
New ZealandSpouses can come with the  Partner of a Student Work Visa.Work visa enables to work in New Zealand
FinlandSpouse can come with the partner on residence permitIt also gives rights to the spouse to work in Finland.
DenmarkDenmark Student Dependent Visa helps the spouse to travel to Denmark.After the completion of application of a student dependent visa the spouse can work.
FrancePermit to stay/residence in France allows the spouse to stay in France.With the help of the EU Blue Card, the spouse can work in France.
SpainSpouses can come to Spain if you are staying on a student visa for more than 6 months. Your spouse can work without applying for a work permit. 
Swedenspouse visa application as dependents are permittedSpouses are also allowed to work in Sweden without much restrictions. 

Here we have explained in detailed about the spouse visa information of some of the popular study abroad destinations


Overall we found this site to be the most thorough and informative of all the other sites we researched. It provides you with a thorough checklist for packing, information needed for your visa application, vital contacts for emergency purposes (such as language assistance or legal help), and explanations about what to expect on your trip. In addition it offers a helpful guide to doing laundry in Europe which was surprisingly informative.

The new website is informative and has sections on what the student may need to bring, living in Australia and the process of bringing a spouse. The site also has a section for questions, concerns and enquiries which gives the user a direct line to the Department itself.

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