During your stay at Coppin, you may want to invite a family member to visit you. The following provides some suggestions to help your family obtain a visa to enter the U.S.
Adding a Spouse or Child(ren)
If you are or will be in F-1 status, your legal spouse and children under age 21 may be eligible for F-2 status to accompany you or follow you separately to the U.S. To request a Certificate of Eligibility I-20 (F) from Coppin’s International Office for the purpose of inviting family in F-2 status, please complete the Adding Dependent Request Form (see below) and turn it in to the International office. A new I-20 form will be prepared for each of your family members.
Students: Adding Dependents Request Form Scholars: Adding Dependents Request Form
After picking up your family's new documents from the International Office, you must deliver them to your family (either by mail or in person) so they can apply for a visa.
Extended Family and Domestic Partners
Extended family (parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles etc.) and domestic partners are not eligible to come to the U.S. as "dependents" in F-2 status. They must apply for a B-1/B-2 Visitor visa, or come to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. To facilitate the process of applying for a B-1/B-2 visitor visa, you can do the following (optional):
- Write a letter of invitation:
Include the purpose of the visit, your relationship to the individual, a statement of your status here and the length of time they will be visiting (usually less than three months). If the individual has a job to which they plan to return, it is good to mention it. If you plan to provide for their support while they are here, include that information as well. Use this template to prepare your customized letter.
- Obtain a letter of verification:
- Undergraduate students can request a letter of verification of student status from the International Office.
- Graduate students can request a letter from their department explaining that they are in good standing and verifying any funding being provided by the department and that you intend to return to your home country at the end of your studies.
- Scholars can request a letter from the departmental staff person who assists visiting scholars or host professor which indicates that you are a scholar in good standing in the department, your reason for being here, that you wish to return to your home country at the end of your research or teaching, and, if applicable, the amount of funding being provided by the department.
- Request a financial statement from your bank (if you are not receiving salary from the university).
Providing your family members with all of the above papers may improve their chances of obtaining a visa. However, there is no guarantee a visa will be issued. The success of the applicant's request for a visa lies in their ability to prove that they have no intention of staying permanently in the U.S.