Bringing Your Family to the U.S.

Immigration law allows your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to accompany you as dependents. Each dependent will need a visa stamp in their own passport and will be given separate entry documents when they enter the U.S. They will have a visa status that shows they are a dependent, such as F-2, J-2, or H-4.

Other family members such as parents, brothers, and sisters are not eligible to come as your dependent. They may be able to visit for short periods of time using a B or tourist visa. The U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country can provide information on obtaining a tourist visa for the U.S.

Your spouse or children should not enter the U.S. with a B visa if they intend to stay longer than six months.

Obtaining Entry Visas for Your Family

If you are entering the U.S. in J-1 or F-1 status, you will need to have legal documents (DS-2019 or I-20) issued by the International Affairs Office for each family member who will come to the U.S. as your dependent.

If you will be coming in any other visa status, no special paperwork is needed for your family. For any dependent status other than J or F, the dependents need to provide the embassy with their valid passport, proof of your visa status, and proof of their relationship to you.

If your family will be accompanying you on your trip to the U.S., they should go to the embassy with you to apply for the visa stamps. If they will be joining you at a later time, they can apply for the visa stamp closer to their arrival date.

While the International Affairs Office will provide the visitor with sponsorship documents for the visa application, we cannot guarantee that the embassy will grant the visa. Consular officials have wide discretion in deciding who should be issued a visa.

Bringing Your Pets

The U.S. government and the airlines have special provisions for bringing cats, dogs, or other pets into the U.S. Most airlines can give you information regarding the transport regulations for cats and dogs. For information on other pets or to inquire about customs regulations in general, contact the U.S. embassy or consulate.