Below are just a few of the frequently asked questions about J-2 immigration matters:
Only the spouse and unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) of the exchange visitor are eligible for J-2 status.
J-2 dependents may not enter the US unless the principal J-1 holder is already in the US or accompanies the dependents.
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.
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.
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.
J-2 dependents are only eligible to receive a social security number if they have received work authorization from the USCIS.
J-2 dependents must have health insurance coverage as required by the US Department of State. Also see Health Insurance Requirements.
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.