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To qualify for dependent status, a spouse or unmarried, minor (under age 21) child must establish to the satisfaction of the consular officer and the immigration officer at the port of entry that:

  • He or she is the spouse (marriage license) or child (birth certificate) of the F-1 or J-1 visa holder
  • He or she has sufficient funds to cover his/her expenses, or that other arrangements have been made to provide for expenses once in the U.S.
  • He or she intends to leave the U.S. upon the termination of the status of the F-1 or J-1 visa holder

If you have dependent(s) that would like to enter the U.S. on an F-2 or J-2 visa, you must complete and submit the following materials to ISSS:

  1. Dependent Application
  2. Marriage Certificate (if dependent is spouse) and/or Birth Certificate (if dependent is minor child)
  3. Passport ID page(s) for each dependent
  4. Proof of Financial Support

If you would like your visiting family members to enter on a B visa as a tourist, please see here for information regarding invitation letters.

Your dependent(s) will be required to maintain health insurance. Please click here for information on dependent health insurance.

Studying in the U.S.


J-2 dependents may enroll in a degree seeking program full-time or part-time.



J-2 dependents of J-1 Exchange Visitors may apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for work authorization, provided the income from such employment will be for the support of the dependent(s), and not for the principal J-1. Employment may not begin until the work authorization has been approved and the J-2 has received their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card.


  • I-765 Form for J-2 Employment
  • Form G-1145
  • Application Fee – Please check the USCIS website for the latest filing fee information.
  • 2 Passport-style photos
  • Copy of DS-2019s for J-1 and J-2
  • Copy of I-94 for J-1 and J-2
  • Copy of Passport I.D. page(s) for J-1 and J-2
  • Copy of Visa Stamp for J-1 and J-2
  • Copy of all previous Employment Authorization Documents (EAD cards), if applicable.
  • Monthly Expense Budget
  • Letter from J-2 stating why the employment is desired and that employment is not to support J-1
  • Once you have all application materials, you may schedule a session with your assigned ISSS advisor to review the application.

You must mail the completed employment application packet to Immigration (USCIS). Refer to the USCIS website for the correct USCIS mailing address.

Do not begin employment until you received the EAD for approved employment authorization. The EAD is a license-sized picture card that indicates the approved employment start and end dates. Employment is not permitted before the approved start date or after the approved end date.


USCIS practice is to limit issuance of all EADs to no more than 1 year.  In any case, J-2 employment authorization may not exceed the program duration indicated on the principal’s DS-2019, and is valid only if the J-1 is maintaining status.


A J-2 dependent must file form I-765 with all supporting documents each time an extension of employment is necessary.


If permission for employment is granted, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card is issued and is valid for any kind of full-time or part-time employment for the period of time stated on the EAD.  Employment may begin only after receiving approval from the USCIS.