Dependents (spouse or minor child) accompanying or wishing to join a J-1 Exchange Visitor (EV) must be issued a J-2 dependent DS-2019 and apply for a J-2 visa. The following documents are required when requesting a J-2 dependent DS-2019:
The completed Request for Dependent Form I-20 or DS-2019
Passport identification page for each dependent
Proof of relationship, translated into English (marriage or birth certificate)
Proof of funding for each dependent. The minimum
per month amounts needed are $500 for a spouse and $400 per child in J-2 dependent status.
J-2 Dependent Employment Information
A J-2 visa holder, a dependent of a J-1 Exchange Visitor (EV), is eligible to apply for employment authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work in the U.S., provided that the dependent is not looking to support the J-1 EV. Employment may begin once the employment authorization has been granted by USCIS and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) has been issued and received by the J-2 dependent. To learn more about current USCIS processing times, please visit the USCIS webpage.
The following documents will need to be sent to USCIS:
A written statement, in the form of a cover letter, requesting J-2 employment authorization. The written statement shoud clearly state the following:
Your name and J-2 visa status
The name of the J-1 EV including the J-1 category (Research Scholar, Professor, Student)
The reason(s) you are requesting employment authorization
An outline of y our family's financial resources and expenses while in the U.S. demonstrating that the J-1 EV's income or financial resources are sufficient to cover your family expenses while in the U.S. you may provide an itemized list of categories of your monthly expenses, such as childcare, personal care, subscriptions, auto
insurance/maintenance, school fees, tuition, and supplies, etc.
A statement such as "The money I earn will be used solely by me so that I may (state reason(s), for example to continue to further my education, to further my career, for cultural or recreational activities, travel expenses, etc.), and not to support my husband/wife".
A complete Form G-1145, e-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance. This form authorizes USCIS to send you email notifications regarding your application, such as a confirmation of the receipt of your application, in advance of paper notifications sent via the United States Postal Service (USPS).
The appropriate filing fee as indicated on the USCIS webpage. The filing fee can be paid by check, money order, or credit card.
If paying by credit card, please complete and include the Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. Please be sure to use a U.S. based credit card.
If paying by check or money order, please make sure it is payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It is also recommended that your SEVIS ID number and "I-765 Application Fee" is listed in the memo section.
A completed and signed Form I-765. Please be sure to use the most recent version of the Form I-765 found on the USCIS website. Please also refer to the USCIS Form I-765 Instructions webpage.
On page 2, in part 2, under question 27, please write "(c) (5) ( )" for the Eligibility Category.
Please be sure to sign and date the form on Page 5. Please note that e-signatures or type written names are not acceptable. The Form I-765 must be signed in ink.
If a question does not apply to you, type or print ‘N/A’ or ‘Not Applicable’ unless otherwise directed.
If your answer to a question which requires a numeric response is zero or none, type or print 'None' unless otherwise directed.
Please be sure to request a Social Security Number on Page 2, if you do not already have one.
2 passport style photos that are 2 inches x 2 inches, on a white background, and taken within the last 30 days as specified in the Form I-765 instructions on the USCIS Form I-765 Instructions webpage. Please write your name and SEVIS ID number in pencil on the back of each photo.
Copies of the Forms I-94, Arrival / Departure Record for you and the J-1 EV. You may download an electronic version of the Forms I-94 directly from the CBP Website. If you have paper Forms I-94, please submit copies of both sides with your application.
Copies of the most recent DS-2019s for you and the J-1 EV, issued by the ISSS Office.
If the program start date was amended after the visa application appointment, please also include the copies of the DS-2019s for you and the J-1 EV that were presented to the Consular or Immigration Officer with the "Preliminary Endorsement of Consular or Immigration Officer" section completed.
Copies of the identification pages of your and the J-1 EV's passport.
Copies of the most recent U.S. visa for you and the J-1 EV
Proof of marriage to the J-1 EV, translated into English (marriage license, marriage certificate, etc.)
A copy of the funding documentation used to issue the initial DS-2019s and dated within the last six months (for example the Stevens offer/invitation letter, bank statements, home country funding documentation, etc.)
If you are applying for an extension, please include a copy of the previous EAD that was issued to you by USCIS. If you move while your application is in pending status with USCIS, please contact ISSS at [email protected] for further guidance.
Before mailing, please make a copy of the entire application package, including the payment for the filing fee. Place the photos in an envelope and label it with the word "Photos". Place the payment and the envelope with the photos at the top of the application package and clip
all documents together.
Please be sure to mail the application to the correct USCIS lockbox (look for the (c)(5) eligibility category under Foreign Students) with jurisdiction over the mailing address listed on the Form I-765 and based on the mailing service selected.
It is highly recommended that a trackable express service is used to mail the application package to USCIS.
Following the submission of the application package to USCIS, you will receive an I-797 Receipt Notice from USCIS. The receipt typically arrives 2-4 weeks after USCIS receives your application. If you included the Form G-1145, you will also receive an email notification once your application is received. The email notification and the Receipt Notice will include a receipt number which will allow you to check the status of your application on the USCIS website.
Once your employment is approved, you will receive an I-797 Approval Notice from USCIS followed by your EAD. The EAD typically arrives 2 weeks after the Approval Notice.
To learn more about the current USCIS processing times, please visit the USCIS webpage. Employment may begin only once the employment authorization has been granted by USCIS and the EAD has been issued and received by the J-2 dependent.
While highly unlikely, you may receive a Rejection Notice or a Request for Evidence Notice from USCIS. Should you receive either of these notices from USCIS, please contact ISSS at [email protected] for further guidance.