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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. This page provides information regarding how to add J-2 dependent family members to your J-1 record, as well as other helpful information and resources such as J-2 work authorization and study. Additional resources for you and your dependents can be found on our Community Resources page.

To  Add a Dependent to your SEVIS record

You may request to add J-2 dependents prior to beginning your J-1 program (at the time of submitting your J-1 Initial eForms) or follow the instructions below to add your J-2 dependents after you have already received your J-1 DS-2019 form.

Funding Documentation

You may be required to show $600 per month, per dependent and funding to cover the estimated cost of health insurance based on your current funding situation. Contact the OIS for more information about funding.

  1. Gather acceptable documentation for financial support that meets or exceeds the minimum required funding discussed above
  2. Legible scanned copies of the passport id page for each dependent
  3. Submit the above to the OIS via iHopkins in a timely manner 

To submit your J-2 Dependent Request:

  • Go to
  • Click “Login” under “Active JHED Login”
  • Login with your JHED ID and password
  • Once logged in, click on “J-1 Scholar Services” in the menu on the left, then click on “J-2 Dependent Request (Add Spouse/Children)” e-Form. Submit an e-Form for each dependent you are requesting J-2 status for
  • You will be required to upload all the documents as one PDF file

*Please email [email protected] for any iHopkins login or eForm issues.

Applying for J-2 Visa Stamp

J-2 Dependents may apply for their visa stamp at the same time as the J-1 principal or separately after the J-1 has already obtained their visa. For accurate and complete details regarding the visa application process and to schedule your dependent’s visa interview please see the U.S. Department of State website. Please be sure to review the website of your specific local U.S. Embassy/Consulate because directions and/or documentation requirements are often country and site specific. You can access the directory of local consulate websites at

Necessary documents for J-2 visa application

  • Passport (valid at least six months into the future)
  • Certificate of Eligibility for J-2 dependents (DS-2019)
  • All applicable visa application forms and fees
  • Supporting documentation including copies of the principal J-1 immigration documents, proof of study or program at JHU, financial support documentation, and documentation to establish relationship to the J-1 principal
  • Any other documents required by your local U.S. Consulate

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.  Notify the OIS by email: [email protected]

Important Things to know for J-2 Dependents

  • J-2 is a derivative status of J-1 meaning J-2 status ends when the principal J-1’s program ends
  • The J-2 dependent’s DS-2019 may be extended only if the J-1’s program and DS-2019 is extended
  • J-2 dependents are automatically subject to the same bars and restrictions that may apply to the J-1 principal including the 2-year home residency, the 12-month bar, and 24-month bar
  • Accompanying spouses and dependents in J-2 status must be covered by health insurance that meets the Department of State requirements for the duration of stay in the U.S.
  • J-2 dependents may not remain in the U.S. in absence of the J-1 principal for long periods of time. On average, if the J-1 principal is absent more than 30 days it is considered a break in program activity. The U.S. Department of State advises the J-2 spouse and dependents to accompany the J-1 principal outside the country whenever possible
  • J-2 dependents may not remain in the U.S. longer than the J-1. Once the J-1 has completed their program and left the U.S., the J-2 dependents must depart as well
  • Dependent children age 21 and older are not eligible for J-2 status
  • J-2 dependents must have a valid travel signature on their DS-2019 if they are travelling abroad and returning in J-2 status. The J-1 principal can submit a request through iHopkins for a travel signature on behalf of their dependents
  • J-2 dependents must apply for and receive work authorization from USCIS before engaging in employment 
  • The J-2’s eligibility to study and/or work ends when the J-1 principal completes their program. J-2 dependents cannot work/study during the 30-day grace period at the end of the program. They may remain in the U.S., but must depart before the grace period ends

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. 

  • Application filing 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
  • 2 photos that meet USCIS specifications []
  • I-765 Form Complete the form and don’t forget to sign at the bottom. The code for question 20 is “(C)(5)( )”
  • G-1145 Form if you would like to receive e-mail notification of your application acceptance
  • Photocopy of both the J-1’s and J-2’s DS-2019 forms
  • Photocopy of both the J-1’s and J-2’s Passport Biographical Page (including the passport expiration) and Visa Stamp
  • Photocopy of both the J-1’s and J-2’s most recent I-94 document
  • photo copy of the front and back of your current Employment Authorization Document (EAD), if applicable
  • Brief letter explaining that the work permission is not to support the J-1

Study in J-2 Status

There is a no regulatory restriction on study for J-2 dependents which means they may study part-time or full-time. In the case of children, K-12, study may be required based on the state in which you reside. J-2 dependents may not remain in the U.S. beyond the stay of the principal J-1 in order to continue schooling unless they first obtain the appropriate student visa status.

If you have questions about J-2 Exchange Visitor status, please contact the OIS at [email protected].