J-2 dependents are eligible to work in the U.S. as long as they meet certain conditions first.
Yes, you can work as long as you meet certain conditions first. You must apply for and receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) from the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). Also, your employment must not be for the purpose of supporting your J-1 spouse.
You cannot start working until you receive your EAD card from the USCIS. You are eligible to work as long as the EAD card is valid (meaning the work authorization dates on the card have not expired, your J-1’s status has not expired and your J-1 has not left the U.S. except for a temporary visit.)
No. While the EAD card is valid, you are eligible to work full or part-time.
No. You can work on-campus or off-campus in any field of work.
USCIS has released a new version of Form I-765 (refer to the edition date on the lower left hand corner of the form). Additionally, USCIS has stated that there will be a NEW I-765 as of 10/02/2020. This form has not yet published and is available in preview mode only, so you have an opportunity to see what it looks like.
Any OPT application postmarked on or after October 2 will be required to have this new edition dated 10/02/2020.
The current edition of Form I-765 is dated 08/25/20.
The updated edition of Form I-765 is dated 10/02/20.
|Application postmark date||Form Version Used||Base I-765 Fee|
|Before October 2, 2020||Must use 8/25/20 edition||$410|
|On or after October 2, 2020||Must use 10/02/20 edition||$550 |
USCIS published information on fee increases as a Final Rule effective October 2, 2020.
Submit the following documents to the USCIS Lock Box:
Be sure to photocopy your entire Employment Authorization application for your personal records.
The address to use depends on the mailing address listed on your I-765. Please refer to the USCIS website for details.
You should use a reliable, express delivery service (e.g. UPS, FedEx) to mail your application. Utilizing an express delivery service will enable you to track your application and its delivery. Please save your receipt.
Processing time at the USCIS is estimated to be 6-12 weeks. However, processing times vary widely depending on the time of year and the workload at the Service Center to which you send your application. You can check the USCIS website for current processing times: Note: You cannot begin employment until you have received your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the USCIS and the “start date” printed on the EAD card is effective.
The USCIS can issue an EAD for a long as four years or for the duration of the J-1’s program, whichever period is shorter. However, the USCIS has the authority to issue the EAD for a shorter period of time. The validity of the EAD card may not exceed the J-1’s program termination date or end date—even though it is still valid on its face.
If your EAD card expires, you will have to stop working until you receive a new EAD card.
In order to avoid any interruption in J-2 employment authorization, it is important to submit a new Form I-765 request to the USCIS prior to the expiration of your current EAD, if you are eligible. The earliest you can submit your application is 120 days before the end date on your current EAD card.
If your DS-2019 will expire at the same time as the EAD card, and your J-1 spouse has not yet completed their academic program, then the J-1 must apply for and receive an extension of stay. Once a new DS-2019 is issued, the J-2 spouse can apply to extend their work authorization.
When you receive your EAD card, you will be able to apply for a Social Security Card. For more information on applying for a Social Security Card our SSN page.
Yes. In addition to paying federal and state income taxes, you will also have to pay Social Security taxes.