Obtaining Visa Documents for Dependents (F/J Students and Scholars)

Do you want your spouse or child(ren) to join you while you attend Columbia? Learn how to obtain a dependent COE (F-2 student form I-20  or J-2 student or scholar form DS-2019) that they will need to apply for a visa.

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Application Alert


Beginning 9AM Friday, March 10 through 11 AM Monday, March 13, you will not to be able to submit or upload any ISSO applications (including this one) as we conduct our Compass database migration. Do not worry, you will be able to submit applications again starting 12:00 PM Monday, March 13. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

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Basic Information about F-2/J-2 Dependents:

Your partner is not eligible to be a visa dependent, but may apply for a B-2 visitor visa to join you under a provision for Cohabitating Partners described in the Foreign Affairs Manual for visa officers. Look for 9 FAM 402.2-4(B)(5).

If they will visit you only for a temporary period of time, they should request a tourist visa directly from the United States Consulate.

Follow the instructions at Applying for an I-20/DS-2019.

 Be sure to provide your dependents' information to your department when they are requesting a DS-2019 for you and all J-1/J-2 forms will be created at the same time.

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How to apply for a dependent COE (Certificate of Eligibility) if you are a student currently at Columbia

How to obtain a dependent COE for students
Step 1.

Provide us with the following documents during walk-in advising hours or submit online via our upload form as one pdf attachment:

Step 2.

We will email you within 10 business days when the COE is ready for pick-up.

Send the I-20 or DS-2019 to your spouse to apply for an F-2 or J-2 visa application at a U.S. consulate.