J-2 - Dependent of J-1 Scholars
For immigration purposes, dependents are defined as one legally married spouse and/or any unmarried, minor (under age 21) children. In order to accompany the J-1 scholar to the U.S., the dependent must obtain an J-2 Form DS-2019, and either apply for an J-2 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, or, if in the U.S. in another status, submit an application for a change of status to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Documentation of the legal relationship between spouses* (i.e. official marriage certificate) or parent and child (i.e. official birth certificate or legal adoption papers) must be presented during the visa application process or included in the change of status application.
*In order for same-sex spouses to be eligible for J-2 status, the marriage must be recognized in the place of celebration.
Other family members who do not meet the eligibility requirements for J-2 status, but wish to accompany the J-1 student may wish to explore possible alternative immigration options at the U.S. Department of State website.
J-2 Children Status Limitations
J-2 children who reach the age of 21 or who marry their own spouse prior to age 21 are no longer eligible for J-2 dependent status. In such situations, the J-2 child has to make arrangements to leave the U.S. or change immigration status prior to the 21st birthday or the marriage is made official.
Request J-2 Form DS-2019
In order to request a J-2 Form DS-2019, the J-1 scholar must submit the following documentation to OISSS:
1. Completed Dependent Request Form
2. Copy of passport biographical page for each individual dependent
3. Copy of Marriage Certificate (for J-2 spouse)
4. Financial documentation* showing ability to cover dependent expenses in the following amounts:
• Dependent Spouse: $6,000 USD per year ($500/month)
• Dependent Child: $4,200 USD per year for each child ($350/month)
* Financial documents can be in the form of a bank statement or bank letter in English or with official English translation issued within the last 6 months.
Processing Time: 10 business days
J-2 Dependent Study and Employment
J-2 dependents are allowed to pursue a full-course of study. However, if the J-1 status (and J-2 status) will end prior to completion of any degree or certificate and the J-2 wishes to continue the academic program, he/she will need to make arrangements to change to another immigration status that allows for full-time study. For questions regarding changes in status contact OISSS.
J-2 dependents are allowed to apply for employment authorization by submitting an application to USCIS as long as they meet eligibility requirements. See the J-2 Employment page for information regarding eligibility, application procedures and employment limitations.