Carnegie Mellon University

Information for Families

Sponsor Reporting Requirements for J-2 Dependents:

  • Carnegie Mellon University must report email addresses for each J-2 dependent in SEVIS. Report this information by emailing for each J-2 dependent.
  • Carnegie Mellon University must report if a J-2 spouse/dependent final departure from the US takes place prior to the J-1’s final departure from the US. Report this information by emailing

Getting a CMU Spouse or Partner Identification Card (ID)

For a small fee, a current Carnegie Mellon student or visiting paid, benefits-eligible scholar may obtain an affiliate ID card for their spouse or partner from The HUB. Complete information and the request form can be found on The HUB's ID Card Services website. The Carnegie Mellon student/scholar must be present with their spouse or partner for the card to be produced. The affiliate ID card permits use of the Carnegie Mellon shuttle and the recreational facilities at the University. The ID card does not entitle the cardholder to ride the Pittsburgh Regional Transit bus system free of charge.

Getting a Social Security Number for a Spouse

Social Security Numbers can only be issued to those non-immigrants (those who are not citizens or permanent residents of the US) who have an official need for such numbers. A Social Security Number is not required for living in the US, but is used by the US government to withhold taxes from pay. Spouses on J-2 visas can only prove this need if they have received work authorization from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Spouses on F-2 visas are not eligible for work authorization and therefore cannot obtain a Social Security Number.


School for children begins at age 5 and is required by Pennsylvania law for children between the ages of 5 and 17. Parents with children under the age of 5 will find several child care options available including in-home care, family day care, group home day care, and child care centers. Prices will vary widely but can range up to $1,300 per month for full-time care for infants and toddlers.

For school-age children, parents may consider public or private education. Public education is free although there are charges for some after-school programs. Tuition will be charged for private education and may cost as much as $10,000-$15,000 per child, per year. To attend public schools, children must be in a dependent (J-2, H-4) immigration status. If they are in a tourist status (B-1/B-2), they may not be allowed to enroll or may have to pay a fee.

English as a Second Language (ESL) services are available at some schools and may be an important part of your decision to place your child. Information about English classes for adults can be found on the Student Academic Success Center (SASC) website.

Organizations for Spouses and Partners

There are various organizations in which spouses, partners and other family members can get involved. Two of these are: Carnegie Mellon International Spouses and Partners Organization (contact OIE) and the International Women’s Association of Pittsburgh (412-441-8102).

A comprehensive list of local international groups with event listings and information can be found at Global Pittsburgh.

Additional information for spouses and families of international students will be provided at International Student Orientation and for spouses and families of visiting scholars at OIE’s Scholar Orientation.