How can I bring my dependent(s) to the United States?
Can my dependent(s) work?
Can my dependent(s) study?
How would I register my child for school?
How do I find child daycare?
How do I find a doctor for my child?
What are seat belt laws?
What options do my dependents have for health insurance?
Can my dependent(s) get a drivers license?
Is there information to help my dependent(s) get involved in the community?
How can I bring my dependent(s) to the United States?
Your spouse (wife or husband) and children (unmarried children under the age of 21), may apply for an F-2 or J-2 visa or change of status to accompany you in the U.S. while you are in F-1 or J-1 status. Your spouse and children may come with you when you first come to the U.S. or they may join you at a later time. To have your dependents join you, an I-20 or DS-2019 form will be issued for each dependent. The following items are required:
- Proof of marriage for a spouse
- Proof of birth date of spouse, if not on marriage certificate
- Proof of birth for a child
- Copy of passport information page or national identification document for each dependent
- Proof of financial support for yourself, plus an additional $600 per month for your first dependent and $400 per month each for any additional dependents. The financial support evidence should be within the last six months.
A fax of these documents is acceptable for International Student Services. Our fax number is (603)645-9603. Your dependents should bring original documentation with them to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate when applying for the F-2 or J-2 visa.
F-2 and J-2 children may attend school up to the high school level, but there are strict restrictions on F-2 dependents' school attendance at the university level or for language training. Please be sure to discuss education of your dependents with an International Student Advisor prior to having them start any educational program.
Registering your child for school
Children age 5 years or older must attend school. Public schools in the US are controlled by the city or town in which you live. Contact the School Administrative Unit for your city/town for information on registering your child for school and the name/address of the local school. For anyone living in Manchester, contact the Manchester School District. Things you might need in order to register your child in school include but may not be limited to:
A legal birth certificate Proof of immunizations for each child. Your child may need to have a health examination by a physician before starting school. You also may need to submit proof of where you live in the US (such as a copy of your signed lease and/or a utility bill). There may be required language testing. Many schools offer English as a second language programs to help ease the transition of students speaking other languages.
Daycare for young children
Many daycare centers are located in Manchester, NH as well as in surrounding towns. You may find them by searching on the web, for example by using “Manchester NH daycare”. Or check the NH Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Development Bureau (CDB) website to search for state-licensed daycare centers in the town where you live. State licensing lets you know that a daycare has met certain quality and safety standards; programs can be licensed, “licensed plus”, or accredited and these terms are explained at the CDB website.
Gather as much information as possible to help you find the best care for your child. There is a weekly fee for daycare which varies by the child’s age (the younger the child, the more expensive) and different centers will offer different options for part time or full time daycare. Not all daycare centers will have immediate openings and you may be placed on a waiting list.
Finding a Pediatrician
Selecting a pediatrician for your children is an important decision to make. Call “Ask-a-Nurse” at (603)626-2626 for recommendations for a pediatrician in the Manchester, New Hampshire area.
The NH Child Passenger Safety law requires that all children under age 18 riding in a motor vehicle be restrained and properly fastened in a safety belt. Children under the age of 6 years or 55 inches (140 cm) tall must be restrained and properly secured in an approved child safety seat. As car safety seats have expiration dates, we strongly recommend that you do not purchase a second hand infant or child safety seat. Many police stations and other locations will do a free check to be sure the car seat is correctly and safely installed.
Children and infants may not be held in the lap of an adult. There can be a fine from the police for not having your children properly secure in your car. The only exception to the requirement for child safety seats is riding on a bus or in a taxi.
F-2 dependents are strongly encouraged to have health insurance. J-2 dependents are required by law to have health insurance. One option for coverage is to enroll your spouse and children in the SNHU Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) insurance which provides the international student insurance to SNHU students. There are additional expenses for insurance for your dependents.
Please note that the CISI insurance covers accidents and illness only and does not cover regular checkups. Or, you may select another US policy of your choice or purchase insurance at home which will cover your dependents while they are in the U.S.
Driving license for a dependent
F-2/J-2 spouses or dependents are eligible for a NH driver’s license and the same rules apply as for the student. The ISS office will write a support letter to assist the dependent in obtaining a license. When signing up for the support letter, dependents should use the students SNHU ID number on the request form.
There are many ways F-2 dependents can became involved and enjoy their experiences in the United States. International Student Services will provide additional information upon your arrival on campus.