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J-2 Dependent Information

J-2 Dependent Information


  • The J-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa for spouses and dependents (unmarried children under the age of 21) of J-1 exchange visitors who accompany or later join the J-1 holder in the United States.

  • A J-2 dependent/spouse is in status only while the J-1 is in status.

Applying for a J-2 DS-2019

Each dependent must have their own DS-2019.

  • If the spouse and/or dependent child is accompanying the J-1 scholar upon initial arrival, the dependent DS-2019 is created simultaneously with the J-1 exchange visitor's.

  • If the spouse and/or dependents child is arriving in the U.S. after the J-1 scholar, make an appointment with an ISSS advisor to review the process.

Step 1: The J-1 exchange visitor should meet with an ISSS Faculty and Scholar Advisor to review the J-2 process. The J-1 will request the DS-2019 form(s) through iTerp.

  1. The J-1 will login using the "I have an active Directory ID" option at the top of the iTerp homepage
  2. Once logged in, the J-1 will go to the left-hand side of the page, and under "J-1 Scholar Services," select "Request Immigration Documents for a Spouse or Child." Complete the form for each dependent.
  3. Provide the dependents' information and upload the following:
    • Copy of passport biographical page for each family member
    • Proof of funding for the J-1 exchange visitor and dependents

Step 2: ISSS will prepare the J-2 DS-2019(s) and alert the scholar when they are ready to be picked up at 1126 HJ Patterson Hall.

Step 3: The J-1 exchange visitor will mail the J-2 DS-2019(s) via express courier to their dependent(s). It is important that the dependent not schedule the visa interview until after they have received the DS-2019. The dependent does not have to pay a SEVIS fee. The dependent will need to pay a U.S. visa fee.

Step 4: When the J-2 arrives in the U.S., the J-1 exchange visitor will complete the e-form, "J-2 Depenent Arrival Information" for each dependent. The following should be uploaded.

  • Visa stamp
  • I-94
  • Proof of health insurance for the entire length of the DS-2019

Step 5: If a J-2 permanently leaves the U.S. and has no plans to return as a J-2, the J-1 should complete the e-form, "J-2 Dependent Departure."

Working in J-2 Status

J-2 dependents are allowed to work in the U.S. with an employment authorization document (EAD) issued by USCIS.

Checklist for J-2 Employment Authorization Application

  • Form I-765: We suggest that you type the application and use a blue pen to sign.
  • Letter from applicant, explaining:
    • The need for employment
    • The amount and source of J-1 funding support
    • That the income earned by the J-2 will not be used for the support of the J-1
  • Immigration Documents
    • Passport biographical page
    • J-2 DS-2019
    • J-2 I-94 record
  • 2 color photographs of J-2 (see page 20)
  • Check made payable to Department of Homeland Security and mailed to (if residing in the state of Maryland):
For U.S Postal Service (USPS) Deliveries: For FedEx, UPS, & DHL deliveries:
Attn: NFB
PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036-1281

Attn: NFB (Box 21281)
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoeniz, AZ 85034-4850






The applicant will receive a receipt by mail. If the application is approved, an approval notice and employment authorization card (EAD card) will be mailed directly to the applicant at the address listed on the I-765. The applicant cannot begin working until the card is received.

Income earned by J-2s is subject to Social Security taxes as well as federal, state, and local income tax. J-2s can apply for a Social Security number on the I-765 application.

The J-2 dependent may apply for an extension of the EAD card up to 180 days before the end date of the initial EAD.

Studying in J-2 Status

If a J-2 is interested in studying at the University of Maryland, College Park, the J-2 may apply for undergraduate or graduate admission.