Open Menu Close Menu Open Search Close Search

J-2 Dependent Eligibility

If you are in J-1 status, you may request J-2 status for your legal spouse and/or your unmarried minor children under the age of 21. No other family members are eligible for J-2 status. Note: once a dependent child reaches the age of 21, the child is no longer eligible to have J-2 status.

Requesting J-2 Status for Family Members

You may request J-2 status for your family members when you are making your initial application for a J-1 status, or after you have arrived in the US as a J-1 student or scholar. You must be able to show that you have adequate financial resources for your family members in the following amounts:

  • US$6,000 per year for your spouse
  • US$3,500 per year for each dependent child

If you are already in the US as a J-1 student, submit the J-2 Add Dependent Request via the Request Center in the International Center Portal to request a J-2 status for your family members. If you are already in the US as a J-1 scholar or employee, submit the Add J-2 Scholar Dependent to the International Center to request a J-2 status for your family members.

The International Center will issue separate Form DS-2019s for each family member so that they can apply for J-2 visas at a US consulate. When applying for J-2 status, your family members may be expected to show proof of family relationship and copies of financial documents in addition to their DS-2019 forms.

J-2 Benefits and Restrictions

Study: J-2 family members are permitted to study on a part-time or full-time basis.

Employment: J-2 family members may apply to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for employment authorization only after arriving in the US in J-2 status. See the section at the bottom of this page for more information about J-2 employment authorization.

Health Insurance: J-2 family members are also required to have adequate health insurance that meets J-1 visa requirements. Failure to have adequate insurance may lead to termination of status.

Other Restrictions: If you are subject to the two-year home residency requirement, your J-2 family members may also become subject to the requirement. In addition, the J-2 dependents of current or future J-1 research scholars and J-1 professors may also be subject to the 12- and 24-month bars on initial or repeat participation. Contact the International Center for more information.

J-2 Employment Authorization