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J-2 Dependents

Only the spouse and minor children (under age 21) who accompany the J-1 visa holder to the U.S. may receive J-2 dependent status. Their eligibility to stay legally in the U.S., as well as to extend their stay, is contingent upon the J-1 visa holder maintaining his or her legal status and extending his or her program in a timely manner.

All other family members must apply for a B-1 or B-2 visitor’s visa to gain entry to the U.S.

J-2 and Employment

A person in J-2 status may apply to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for work authorization. Authorization will be granted, in the form of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), only if the purpose of the employment is NOT for supporting the J-1 Exchange Visitor.

J-2 employment may be authorized for up to 12-months or for the J-1 principal’s authorized stay as indicated on Form I-94 and Form DS-2019, whichever is shorter. If the J-1 principal’s authorized period of stay is extended or is longer than 12-months, the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) may be renewed.

After obtaining the EAD, the J-2 spouse may apply for a Social Security Card and will be subject to federal, state and local income tax on his or her earnings.

J-2 Employment Authorization Procedures

  • I-765 with (c)(5) filled in section #16
  • Check or money order made payable to US Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $410
  • 2 recent Passport-style photos
  • Copies of J-1 and J-2 DS-2019s.
  • Legible copy of J-2’s Passport ID page, I-94 card (front and back – if last US entry was before April 30, 2013), and visa stamp
  • Legible copy of J-1’s Passport ID page, I-94 card (front and back – if last US entry was before April 30, 2013), and visa stamp
  • Legible copy of your current EAD card (front and back), if filing an extension of your EAD
  • A letter written by the J-2 requesting employment authorization and indicating the income derived from the employment will NOT be used to support the J-1.
  • Mail completed application to USCIS (See address below) It can take up to 90 days for the EAD card to be issued. You may not begin employment until you receive the card.The completed application should then be mailed to the appropriate address:
  • For U.S. Postal Service (USPS):                             For Express mail, tracking and courier:
    USCIS                                                                       USCIS, ATTN: AOS
    PO Box 660867                                                        2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business Suite 400
    Dallas, TX 75266                                                      Lewsville, TX 75067
  • If applying from outside Baltimore contact IES        

J-2 Dependent Study Restrictions

Currently, there are no regulation restrictions on study for J-2 dependents.

How to Obtain a DS-2019 for Your Dependent

You will need to complete the UMBC J-1 Add Dependents Form