Inviting Family To The U.S.
If you intend to have your spouse and/or child(ren) accompany you to the US while you are participating in your exchange program, you must provide a copy of their passport biographical page and proof of funding (your ability to support them while they are in the US with you). The DS-2019 immigration document for them will be sent to you with your DS-2019 document. Your dependents can then enter the US as the same time you will, or they can enter after you.
If you arrive in the US by yourself and then decide you would like your immediate family to join you, you will need to provide the ISSS Office with a copy of the passport biographical page for each member, along with the Dependent Visa Request Form and the required financial documents noted in this form.
Please note that the DS-2019 dependent form can only be issued for a spouse and/or child(ren).
Extended Family and Domestic Partners
Extended family (parents, grandparents, brother, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) and domestic partners are not eligible to come to the US as “dependents” in J-2 visa status. They must apply for a B-1/B-2 Visitor visa ( or come to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program.
To facilitate the process of applying for a B-1/B-2 visitor visa, you can do the following (optional):
- Write a letter of invitation. Include the purpose of the visit, your relationship to the individual, a statement of your status here and the length of time they will be visiting. It is also good to mention that the individual has a job to which they plan to return. If you plan to provide for their support while they are here, include that information as well.
- J-1 STUDENTS: request a letter of enrollment from the ISSS Office.
- J-1 SCHOLARS: request a letter from the department with which you are associated with which indicates that you are a scholar in good standing in the department, your reason for being here, that you intend to return to your home country at the end of your research or teaching, and, if applicable, the amount of funding being provided by the department.
Providing your family members with all of the above papers may improve their chances of obtaining a visa; however, there is no guarantee a visa will be issued. The success of the applicant's request for a visa lies in their ability to prove that they have no intention of staying permanently in the U.S.