Having your family join you during your exchange visitor program at FIU is a very important decision. While it can be very exciting to think about having your spouse and/or children join you in the United States, there are many things that must be considered before you make this important decision.
You must have sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents. Minimum required monthly costs are $600 for the spouse and $400 per child. In addition, health and accident insurance is mandatory for all dependents of scholars in J-1 status, per Federal regulation and University requirements. You must enroll your family in the FIU’s medical insurance plan at the time you request the DS-2019. Failure to enroll your family or continue their enrollment in the medical insurance plan is a *violation of your status.*
If you decide to bring your spouse and/or children to the United States as your dependents, you must submit a request for a DS-2019 to ISSS. The request must be submitted with proof of sufficient financial support. You must enroll enroll your family in the FIU medical insurance plan prior to issuance of the DS-2019. You must also demonstrate proof of sufficient financial support at the time of visa application. This is because US Immigration law requires that all foreign nationals entering the US have either a sponsor or present proof of sufficient financial resources so as not to become a “public charge.”
Once your spouse and/or children arrive in the United States, they must check in with ISSS. As J-2s, they will be able to enroll in school or apply for work authorization with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.