Skip Navigation

J-2 Dependent Spouse & Child(ren)

  • Overview


    Only the spouse and unmarried minor children (under age 21) of a J-1 visa holder may apply for J-2 dependent status. Their eligibility to stay legally in the U.S. is dependent upon the J-1 maintaining their legal status.

    All other family members must apply for a B-1 or B-2 visitor's visa to gain entry to the U.S.

    Report any changes to VIS
    If your dependent departs the U.S. permanently or changes their immigration status, you must report their departure/change of status to VIS. To do so, submit the Removal of J-2 Dependent request form in accessVIS

    Don't forget to report your dependent's arrival
    Once your dependent receives a J-2 visa and enters the U.S.  or receives the change-of-status approval notice by mail, you must submit copies of their immigration documents (DS-2019, passport, J-2 visa and I-94 or change-of-status approval notice) to VIS by submitting the Immigration Intake for J-2 Dependents in accessVIS.

  • Adding a J-2 Dependent

    Adding a J-2 Dependent

    The spouse and unmarried minor children (under age 21) of the J-1 student may be admitted into the U.S. in J-2 classification if each dependent presents a DS-2019 issued in his or her own name and a J-2 visa.

    Initial J-1 Students: If a student is applying for their own initial DS-2019 and will be accompanied by dependent(s), they needs to be sure to include dependent information (and adequate funding) in the appropriate section of the  J-1 Exchange Visitor Request.

    Continuing Students

    Step 1: Prepare your documents
    Step 2: If you are a continuing student, submit your request in accessVIS
    Step 3: Collect your dependent's DS-2019
    Step 4: Your dependent must apply for a J-2 visa
    Step 5: Report the arrival of your J-2 dependent


  • Work & Study


    J-2 dependents are eligible to apply for employment authorization from the USCIS as long as their employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1.


    J-2 dependents are permitted to enroll in elementary or secondary schools while in the U.S.  Furthermore, regulations do not prohibit dependents from engaging in post-secondary study on a full-time basis, as long as their primary purpose in the U.S. is to accompany the J-1 status holder.

    For information about enrolling your child in a public elementary or secondary school, contact your local school district.