J-2 Status for Spouses, Partners & Children
The spouse or partner and dependent children of the J-1 Student Exchange Visitor are eligible for J-2 status and may use this status to accompany the J-1 individual to the U.S. To be eligible for J-2 child must not be over 21. No other family members are eligible for J-2 status. You must also demonstrate sufficient financial resources for their support. You will receive an email survey from OISS upon your acceptance of your offer of admission that will ask you for the relevant information about any family members accompanying you.
To notify OISS that a spouse, partner, or child will join you after your arrival, complete the F-1 and J-1 Dependent SEVIS Information Form [PDF] along with evidence of sufficient funds to support their stay.
Applying for J-2 Status
Each person in J-2 status must have his or her own DS-2019. With the DS-2019 the J-2 dependent may apply for a J-2 visa at the U.S. Consulate.
J-1/J-2 Health Insurance Requirement
All Exchange Visitors (J-1) and their J-2 dependents are required to maintain health and accident insurance coverage during the entire time they participate in an Exchange Visitor program. See under Health Insurance Requirement for more information.
J-2 visa holders (the spouses, partners, and dependent children of J-1's) may apply to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for permission to work in the United States. Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations, part 214.2(j)(1(v) states that, “income from the spouse's or dependent's employment may be used to support the family's customary recreational and cultural activities and related travel, among other things. Employment will not be authorized if this income is needed to support the J-1 principal alien.”
The application for J-2 employment authorization includes:
- A letter to USCIS, explaining the reason for requesting employment authorization. (See the sample PDF)
- Completed Form I-765
(Caution: Use the paper form only. DO NOT submit online.)
- All copies of DS-2019 forms and I-94 numbers for both J-1 and J-2 visa holders
- A copy of your J-2 visa stamp in the passport, and the passport page with your photo and information
- A personal check or money order for $380 payable to US Department of Homeland Security. (A personal check is preferable because, if necessary, you will be able to determine if it has been cashed.)
- Two passport type color photographs. You should print your name lightly in pencil on the back of the two photographs (include the number on your previous EAD if you have one).
*If you have applied for an EAD before, a photocopy of your Employment Authorization Document (back and front)
The application and all of the required documentation must be sent to the USCIS Service Center Lockbox facility. Those with addresses in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MS, NH, NJ, NM, NY, PA, PR, RI, VT, VA, US Virgin Islands, WV and DC will send their application to:
By Courier Service (FedEx, DHL, UPS):
USCIS, Attn: AOS
2501 S. State Hwy. 121
Business Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067
By U.S. Postal Service:
PO Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266
Those with addresses in other states can read the I-765 instructions on where to mail their applications.
Make sure your keep a copy of all the documents you submit.
After mailing in the documents, you will receive a notice (Form I-797) stating you need to wait for about 80 days to receive your EAD. This is your receipt, so take care not to lose it.
Remember, you cannot begin your employment until you have received the Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) from USCIS. If you are applying for a renewal of your J-2 work permission you cannot work beyond the previously authorized date until you receive a new EAD.
Anyone who earns money in the United States must have a social security number for taxpayer identification purposes. The Office of International Students and Scholars can provide you with instructions on applying for a social security number. J-2 visa holders are subject to social security taxes, federal income taxes and, where applicable, state and local income taxes.