Human Resources

J-1 Exchange Visitor Program: J-2 Dependents

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The J-2 visa is for the spouse and minor children (under 21) of an Exchange Visitor. Each dependent (J-2) will be issued a separate Form DS-2019 provided by the Exchange Visitor sponsor even if they are planning to enter the U.S. at the same time as the J-1 visa holder. Program sponsors have the responsibility to ensure adequate funding for the support of the dependents and the required health insurance. Proof of marriage may be required by the consular officer.

J-2 Work Permit
A J-2 visa holder may apply to the USCIS Service Center having jurisdiction over their place of residence for work permission after arriving in the U.S. Processing the application for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) usually takes from one to three months. Those who wish to apply for work permission can obtain the necessary application documents from USCIS or the Foreign National Office. The J-2 visa holder does not have legal permission to work until approval is received in the form of an Employment Authorization Document. Please note that all fees associated with the application are the responsibility of the applicant. The application for employment authorization consists of:
  • Form I-765
  • Application fee
  • 2 ADT-style photos
  • Copy of current J-2 DS-2019
  • Copy of current J-1 DS-2019
  • Copies of form I-94 of both the J-1 and J-2
  • Letter stating why the employment is desired

Note: The "Two Year Home Residency Requirement" and "12 and 24 month Bar on Participation...." also apply to the J-2 dependents of the principal J-1 visitor.

Last updated: August 27, 2015