F-2 Visa FAQs

Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments and blog on immigration.com

Is doing an unpaid U.S. externship/observership with F-2 visa unauthorized employment?

Authored on: Tue, 03/22/2022 - 06:47


I have completed USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 examinations and I am looking forward to applying for residency in the USA. Now I have got an externship opportunity. This rotation, according to the institute, is a voluntary experience that does not account for any medical education, graduate medical education, continuing medical education, or any training leading to licensure or board certification. During this given opportunity, I may receive a letter of recognition or a certificate of completion to fulfill an observational or shadowing requirement as needed. This rotation will allow externs to partake in taking patient history, physical, and procedures under direct supervision. There will be no direct patient care responsibilities as well as actual clinical practice.

I need to get US clinical experience and recommendations to apply for the residency.

My husband emailed the Office of International Services of his university and in the reply email, they mentioned the following points-

In the past, the federal government has defined employment as “any type of work performed for services provided in exchange for money, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, food or any other benefit.” Many immigration lawyers and other international services offices have pointed to the “any other benefit” phrase as a prohibitive phrase. If a student were to receive the benefit of gaining experience in their field of study, the government could interpret this as “unauthorized employment”. This would be a serious violation of their immigration status.

Also according to the DSO of the University of Pittsburgh, a researcher/ lab technician even if does an unpaid job would not be considered a volunteer job.

Now my query is can I apply to the externships/ observership being on an F-2 visa and as this externship will benefit me getting recommendation and experience, would this be considered a violation of the law?



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Change of Visa From H-1B to F-2

Authored on: Mon, 05/06/2013 - 03:00


I am currently on H-1B visa. Is there a way I can change the visa to F-2 without going back to India? My fiancé is here on F-1 visa and this visa is valid till Sep 2014.


You must be married to the F-1 holder in order to be eligible for F-2 status.  Fiances do not qualify for derivative status.

F-1 or F-2 Extension—Leaving Country Prior to Visa Expiration

Authored on: Fri, 01/04/2013 - 06:59


I have two more years to complete a Ph.D. with a valid I-20, but my Visa expires in August 2013. I want to visit India in June-July 2013. If I come back in July, do I need to apply for F-1 visa (and F-2 visa for my family) extension? Would I have problem in reentry if I have one more month of valid F-1/F-2 visa?


You will need a new visa only if you return after August 2013. Check with your DSO to make sure you have all the appropriate requirements completed.

F-2 to H-4 Visa

Authored on: Thu, 05/10/2012 - 05:28


I am on F-2 visa and it is valid up to 1 July 2012. My wife already filed H-1B in Apr 1st week.I am also planning to file my H-1B. So can I directly apply H-1B or fist apply H-4 and then after apply H-1B. How will it work?


If you are subject to H-1 quota, to get status within USA, you must maintain status till September 30. So, it appears you may have to apply for H-4 as well as H-1. Your lawyers can help you figure out the timing. Applying for H-4 now should not be an issue. But move quickly. You can file for H-4 online. Fairly easy.