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J-2 Dependent Family Members

If you are or will be in J-1 status, your legally married spouse and dependent children under age 21 may be eligible for J-2 status to accompany you or follow you separately to the U.S. If you are already in the U.S. and would like to request a Certificate of Eligibility DS-2019 for the purpose of inviting family in J-2 status, please complete the Dependent Request Form and submit it along with the required documentation to the OIS. A new DS-2019 form will be prepared for each of your family members.  Funding documentation of $300 per month per dependent may be required based on your current funding situation. 

J-2 Reporting Obligations

  • Individuals in J-2 status are required to provide the OIS with their email address.  

  • If a J-2 departs the U.S. before the J-1, the OIS must be notified in writing so that we can update the J-2 SEVIS record. 

J-2 Work Authorization

J-2 work permits are obtained from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) through an application process that usually takes 3-4 months to complete. Employment may not begin until the J-2 has received the work permit, called the Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

J-2 work permits allow the holder to work in any job, full-time or part-time, but employment may not extend beyond the end date on the EAD. Extension of work permits is possible, up to the end date of the form DS-2019. Please note that the extension process also takes 3-4 months, so plan ahead if you want your employment to be continuous (without any gaps between work authorization periods).

EAD Application Process

To apply for an EAD, mail the items listed below to the USCIS. Be sure to keep photocopies of the entire packet for your records. You can download a pdf of J-2 Work Authorization Application Instructions.

  • $410 application fee. Your fee must be the correct amount or your application will be returned. Check or money orders must be made payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” A name and an address must be printed on the check; temporary checks are not allowed. 

  • I-765 Form Complete the form and don’t forget to sign at the bottom. The code for question 20 is "(C)(5)( )”.
  • Photocopy only of both the J-1’s and J-2’s DS-2019 forms
  • Photocopy of Passport Biographical Page (including the passport expiration)
  • Photocopy of most recent I-94 document
  • Brief letter explaining that the work permission is not to support the J-1