J-2 Dependents

Acquiring J-2 Status

Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are eligible for J-2 status. When J- 2 children turn 21, they are no longer eligible for dependent status. If they wish to remain in the U.S., they must apply for their own, independent nonimmigrant status, prior to their 21st birthday.

Traveling with your dependents

If you will be coming to the university as a J-1 scholar and would like to bring your dependent(s) with you, you should enter their information into the International Scholar Dossier (ISD) system. You will access ISD by an email sent from your sponsoring department. Along with the other documentation required for your J-1 program, you should send documentation of the following to your sponsoring department:

  • Proof of funding to support your dependents for their stay in the U.S.
  • Proof of health insurance for your dependents’ stay in the U.S.
  • Copies of your dependents’ passport bio pages; the OISS will issue a DS-2019 for you as well as separate DS-2019s for any dependents that you have indicated

Your dependents will need to apply for J-2 visas at the consulate. If you have already received your DS-2019, but did not include your dependents’ information in ISD, you should contact your sponsoring department.

Traveling separately from your dependents

If you are already at Washington University in J-1 status, your dependents may join you in J-2 status. You should contact your department with your intent to bring dependents. In addition to the departmental form you will complete, you will have to show documentation of the following:

  • Proof of funding to support your dependents for their stay in the U.S.
  • Proof of health insurance for your dependents’ stay in the U.S.
  • Copies of your dependents’ passport bio pages; the OISS will issue separate DS-2019s for your dependents

The DS-2019s will be sent to your department so that you can forward the forms to your family. Your dependents will need to apply for J-2 visas at the consulate.

J-2 Employment

J-2 dependents can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and may begin employment only after receiving the EAD from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The J-2 may only work during the dates on the EAD, and is responsible for applying for a renewal (if needed).

To apply for the EAD, the J-2 needs to file an I-765 application with USCIS. The I-765 form and instructions can be found on the USCIS website, under the FORMS section. Please note: Employment authorization will only be granted if the J-2 can prove that the additional income will not be used to support the J-1 principal.

Study in J-2 Status

J-2 dependents may study part-time or full-time at any educational institution in the U.S., at any level. However, the duration of their status is limited by the duration of yours. If one of your dependents wants to pursue an educational program extending beyond your J-1 end date, s/he should consider changing to F-1 status.

J-2 Travel

Learn more about J-2 and J-1 travel guidelines.