J-2 Frequently Asked Questions

Below are just a few of the frequently asked questions about J-2 immigration matters:

Who is eligible for J-2 status?

Only the spouse and unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) of the exchange visitor are eligible for J-2 status.

When can the J-2 spouse and children come to the US?

J-2 dependents may not enter the US unless the principal J-1 holder is already in the US or accompanies the dependents.

What documents should a J-2 be prepared to present at the US Port of Entry?

J-2 dependents should have a valid passport with a valid J-2 visa stamp. They should also have their own DS-2019 form and proof of funding noted on the DS-2019.

How long can J-2's remain in the US?

J-2 dependents are permitted to stay in the US as long as the principal J-1 is in the US. If the J-1 is approved for an extension of his/her program, the status of the dependents is automatically extended. Each party needs to remember to pick up their new extended immigration documents from the ISSS Office.

Can J-2 dependents get work authorization?

J-2 dependents can apply to the USCIS for work permission as long as they are not wanting to work to provide financial support for the J-1. Processing by the USCIS can take 90 to 120 days; possibly longer. J-2's do not have to have a job offer to receive a work permit. Also see J-2 Work Authorization.

Can a J-2 get a Social Security Number?

J-2 dependents are only eligible to receive a social security number if they have received work authorization from the USCIS.

Are J-2 dependents required to have health insurance in the US?

J-2 dependents must have health insurance coverage as required by the US Department of State. Also see Health Insurance Requirements.

Can a J-2 stay in the US while the J-1 is out of the country for an extended length of time?

If the J-1 is going to be out of the US for a period of longer than 30 days, it is recommended that his/her dependents leave the US also.