J-2 Visas for Dependents

The spouse or partner and dependent children of the J-1 Exchange Visitor are eligible for J-2 status and may use this status to accompany the J-1 scholar to the U.S.

Dependents are defined as legally married spouses and children under the age of 21.

J-2 Status Requirements

Individual DS-2019 for Each Dependent

Each person in J-2 status must have their own DS-2019. 

With the DS-2019 the J-2 dependent may apply for a J-2 visa at the U.S. Consulate. See the section 'How to Obtain a DS-2019 For Each Dependent' below for more information.

Funding Requirements

The J-1 scholar must also demonstrate sufficient financial resources for the support of each of their J-2 dependents.


Postdoc minimums

All other scholars follow the Postgraduate minimum

Spouse $8,700/year
Each Child $6,300/year

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 the Health Insurance Requirement page for more information.

How to Obtain a DS-2019 For Each Dependent

When Your Dependent(s) Will Accompany You to the U.S.

If the spouse and/or dependent child will accompany the J-1 scholar, this information must be conveyed by the host department at the time of requesting your initial DS-2019 form. Be sure that your host department has the necessary information about them.

When Your Dependent(s) Will Join You After Your Arrival to the U.S.

If the spouse and/or dependent child will join the scholar in the U.S. after their arrival, the scholar needs request the DS-2019 from OISS by using OISS Connect. Be prepared to upload a copy of their passport(s) and evidence of sufficient funds to support their stay (see the 'Funding Requirements' section above) before creating a request for J-2 sponsorship.

  1. Login to your OISS Connect account (username is the email where you received original invitation to log in to your account).
  2. Go to the Request tab, and click the “Add New Dependents” button. You will need each family members details (date of birth, city of birth, etc…) and may need to attach your additional funding to support family members.
  3. Click “Create Request” to submit to OISS for review.

OISS will contact you when the new DS-2019 forms are ready for you to send to your family members.


J-2 visa holders (the spouses, partners, and dependent children of J-1s) may apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for permission to work in the United States. This work authorization is called an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). 

Learn more about obtaining an EAD card on this page.