If family members are accompanying you to the United States, then this may be a factor in choosing a visa.

Only the spouse and unmarried minor children (under age 21) of a primary visa holder may receive “dependent” visa status. Their eligibility to stay in the United States legally is contingent on the primary visa holder maintaining their legal status.

  • If you enter the United States on an F-1 visa, your dependents will have F-2 status.
  • If you enter the United States on a J-1 visa, your dependents will have J-2 status.

F-2 Dependents

F-2 dependents are not permitted to enroll as full-time students at the postsecondary level, but they are allowed to study full-time in avocational or recreational studies (e.g., hobbies).

An F-2 dependent cannot accept employment in the United States, but they are allowed to do volunteer work as long as there is no compensation of any kind and the F-2 dependent is doing work usually done by volunteers.

J-2 Dependents

There are no regulatory restrictions on academic study for J-2 dependents, and a J-2 dependent is eligible to apply for permission to work from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

Step 2: Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility

To comply with federal regulations, all international students who intend to enroll at Michigan Law are required to have a “Certificate of Eligibility” to apply for a U.S. visa.

For F-1 Visas

The Certificate of Eligibility is an I-20 form, which is issued by the University of Michigan.

F-1 Visa Information

For J-1 Visas

The Certificate of Eligibility is a DS-2019 form, which is issued by the University of Michigan or another sponsor.

DS-2019 External Funding Requirement

A DS-2019 form for a J-1 visa can be issued only to a student receiving at least 50 percent of their total financial support from a source other than personal or family funds (i.e., the majority of the financial support is in the form of a scholarship, fellowship, or external funding source). It is not an option for self- or family-funded students.

J-1 Visa Information

Steps to Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility

After you submit your enrollment deposit, the Graduate Admissions Office will email you about the documentation you will need to submit to receive a Certificate of Eligibility. The required documentation includes an “Affidavit of Financial Support” to confirm that you have adequate financial resources for the cost of attendance for your academic program.

After you submit the required documentation to the Graduate Admissions Office, we will work with the University’s International Center to issue your Certificate of Eligibility so that you can apply for a visa.

  • Required Documents to Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility
    • Completed Affidavit of Financial Support
    • Supporting financial documentation (e.g., bank statements, scholarship or fellowship letters, loan documents)
    • Copy of the biographic page of your passport (i.e., the page showing your name, date and place of birth, passport number)
      • Please note that your passport should be valid until at least 6 months beyond the end of your academic program.
    • If you have dependents accompanying you to the U.S., a completed family data sheet and copies of the biographic page of each dependent’s passport
    • If you are currently in the U.S., copies of your U.S. visa and entry documents (e.g., I-20, DS-2019, I-797 approval notice, latest I-94, visa stamp).
      • To facilitate planning and processing, please notify the Graduate Admissions Office as promptly as possible if you will need to change your current visa status or if you are currently enrolled as a student at another educational institution in the U.S.

    Please email your documentation to [email protected].

  • Completing Your Affidavit of Financial Support

    Before the University can issue you a Certificate of Eligibility for your visa application, you must submit an “Affidavit of Financial Support” to demonstrate that you have sufficient funding to cover the cost of attendance. You also must certify adequate financial resources for any dependents who will accompany you to the United States.

    After you submit your enrollment deposit, the Graduate Admissions Office will email you information about the Affidavit of Financial Support, including an estimate of standard costs for the upcoming academic year. This estimate is necessary to complete your Affidavit of Financial Support.

    JD Estimated Budget*

    LLM Estimated Budget*

    *Please note that these budgets are for the current academic year. Although these estimates can give you a good idea of what to expect for the upcoming academic year, the estimated student budget usually increases 3 to 5 percent every year.

    Affidavit of Financial Support

  • Expected Employment Income

    Part-time employment on campus is scarce, in considerable demand, and discouraged for first-year JD and graduate law students due to the demands of their studies.

    Opportunities for off-campus employment are generally restricted.

    Accordingly, you should not indicate employment during the academic year as an expected source of funding.