Even though F2 visa holders cannot directly apply for a Green Card, they may still be able to take advantage of several other routes to permanent residence. Applying for a change of status from F2 to F1 is one choice. You must first be accepted into a course of study at an American institution that meets the requirements before you can apply for a change of status. 

Because those F2 visa holders are not permitted to work in the US, you must also be able to show that you have the financial means to support yourself while you are pursuing your education. 

Being Granted F1 Status

Once you have been granted F1 status, you can submit an application for a Green Card via a petition sponsored by your company, a family member, or another route. For instance, your employer might be prepared to sponsor you for a Green Card if you accept a job offer from a US company. Similarly, if your spouse or parent is a citizen of the United States, they might be able to sponsor you for a Green Card through family sponsorship. 

Employment Authorization Document

Applying for an Employment Authorization Document is an additional choice (EAD). You can work lawfully in the US for a predetermined time with an EAD. You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for an EAD, such as being the spouse of an E-2 Treaty Investor or being able to show that you need money.

After receiving an EAD, you can submit an application for a Green Card under the sponsorship of your employer, your family, or another party. It is crucial to remember that getting an EAD does not ensure that you can get a Green Card because other considerations go into the Green Card application procedure. 

  • If an F2 visa holder is accepted into a program of study that qualifies and has the financial means to sustain themselves, they may be able to upgrade their status to F1. 
  • F1 visa holders may be able to apply for a Green Card via a family member or employer, among other routes. 
  • F2 visa holders could receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if they meet specific requirements. 
  • An F2 visa holder may be eligible to apply for a Green Card through employer or family sponsorship after receiving an EAD. 

Summary

While F2 visa holders cannot directly apply for a Green Card, they may still be able to take advantage of several other routes to permanent residence. F2 visa holders may be eligible to apply for a Green Card through employer or family sponsorship by switching their status to F1 or acquiring an EAD. 

FAQ

Can F2 visa holders submit a direct Green Card application?

No, F2 visa holders cannot simply apply for a Green Card. They could secure permanent residency by switching to F1 or receiving an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). At that point, they could apply for a Green Card through employer or family sponsorship.

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