Dependents in J-2 Status

Who is eligible for J-2 status?

  • Children under the age of 21 and spouses are eligible for J-2 dependent
  • When children turn 21, they are no longer eligible for J-2

Are there any special requirements for J-2 status?

  • The J-1 must demonstrate adequate funds and health insurance coverage for each dependent.
  • J-2 dependents are automatically subject to all rules and policies governing the Exchange Visitor Program and the J-1 This means J-2 dependents may be subject to the 2-year home physical presence requirement, and the 12- and 24- month bars which may affect future program participation.

Can J-2 dependents work?

  • J-2 dependents are permitted to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and may begin employment only after receiving the EAD from USCIS.
  • 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

Can J-2 dependents attend school?

  • Yes, J-2 dependents may study on a full-time or part-time basis, including at the university

What travel documents are needed to enter the United States in J-2 status?

  • Valid passport
  • Valid J-2 visa in passport
  • Valid SEVIS form DS-2019 issued for the dependent, endorsed for travel by the J-1 program sponsor
  • Proof of dependent status (marriage or birth certificate) and proof of financial

Can the J-2 stay in the United States while the J-1 scholar travels outside the United States?

  • A J-1 visa holder may travel outside the S. for a short period (i.e. for a conference or business trip), but may not leave J-2 dependents in the U.S. alone for a significant length of time. If the J-1 is traveling outside the U.S. for a significant length of time, the J-2 dependents should accompany the J-1.
  • The J-2 holder’s immigration status is directly tied to the J-1 principal’s If the J-1 is out of the U.S. for a longer period of time, the J-2 dependent visa holders would automatically be considered “out of status,” and could have difficulties obtaining a J-2 visa in the future.

Programs and services offered for dependents

  • International Women: Gather weekly to learn about American culture, the Louis community, and each other’s cultures. Contact: Pat Sarantites at sarantites@gmail.com or Gloria Lubowitz at gh.lubowitz@me.com
  • Washington University Spouses and Partners Association (WUSPA): A support network for the spouses and partners of Washington University Visit their website at: http://wuspa.wustl.edu
  • Washington University Medical Center Housestaff Auxiliary (WUMCHA): A group of female residents, fellows, medical students and attendings who are specifically affiliated with the Medical Center, and female spouses and significant others of the same. Visit their website: http://wumcha.com