I have an F2 visa. I hold a Physical therapy (PT) bachelor from the outside USA. I contacted Tennesse board of Physical therapy to apply for a licence for PT. They send me the requirements which I can fulfil all of them except this item which I do not understand"

Provide proof of legal authorization to reside and seek employment in the United States".

I contacted them to see if I am as F2 visa holder can still apply for a licence, they send me "I should submit notarized information indicating which category of non-U.S. citizenship applies to them and also provide two forms of government-issued documentation as proof of their ability to legally reside and work in the U.S

". and they send me the following form to fill: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/healthprofboards/PH-41833.pdf Can I

Can I apply and which non-U.S. category that matches me?, is I am 7.b in the attached link? I think I am 7. b) in the form which is **: ** a nonimmigrant under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.)."

Also, I do not have a social security number, shall I leave it blank when applying my application?

  • Do you have an employment authorization document? I think you'll need that before you can apply for the PT license.
    – phoog
    Dec 8, 2018 at 0:59
  • They do not require such document
    – Mohamed
    Dec 8, 2018 at 1:06
  • 1
    An EAD is "proof of legal authorization to...seek employment in the United States." But in the meanwhile I've found that F-2 nonimmigrants are ineligible for an EAD, so I'm afraid you're out of luck.
    – phoog
    Dec 8, 2018 at 4:51

1 Answer 1


An F2 visa is a visa for the spouse or dependent of an F1 student. The F2 is extremely limited in terms of what you can do. You cannot work or study with an F2. F2 visas are even ineligible to apply for EADs - or employment authorization. All you can do on an F2 is to be a homemaker or, for kids under 21 be a school student.

So the quick answer is a hard NO.

The even harsher answer is that if USCIS found that you were trying to work (by getting a certification or board license whose sole purpose is to work in a certain occupational category), you could risk being found to violate your F2 visa status and being removed from the country. Even the primary F1 visa holder could be at risk because they had to vouch that you would not work and that they had enough resources to maintain you in the lifestyle that you would be accustomed to.

Pro tip: apply for a community college degree in your local area. This will get you your own F1 visa which does allow for some limited (mostly on campus) work opportunities, practical training, or even possibly apply for employment authorization.

  • Thanks for your answer. A friend told me that after I got the license, i can get an offer to work, then the hospital/clinic can change my visa to H1B1 . So I am not planning under F2 visa. I need to make use of being at US and use my background education to get a license. What do you think? As getting F1 visa Seems hard to me since I don’t have any physical therapy near my local area
    – Mohamed
    Dec 12, 2018 at 0:42
  • @Mohamed it’ll be almost impossible for you to get an H1B directly even if you can’t get a license. That’s because finding a company to sponsor a physical therapist for an H1B will be exceedingly difficult (even if you had a license). Physical therapists are not highly paid and are largely replaceable which means it’s not worth the effort to do an expensive and tedious visa sponsorship.
    – RoboKaren
    Dec 12, 2018 at 1:34
  • I think getting a sponsor to sponsor me is not difficult. That is easy part. I know people who have F1 visa and work as a physical therapist. But my question is that legal to transfer my F2 visa status or not ? If yes, then I will apply for license. I want to tell you that getting such license needs a lot of hard work in exam preparation.
    – Mohamed
    Dec 12, 2018 at 2:02

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