Some J-1 students wish to bring their spouse and/or children to the U.S. Learn about J-2 status and what you need to do to obtain J-2 DS-2019's for your dependents.
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.
Once the J-1 student has completed their studies and has left the U.S., the J-2 dependents must also leave.
Dependent children over age 21 are not eligible for J-2 status and will need to change to another status such as J-1 or F-1 (for full time students) if they wish to stay in the U.S.
At the end of the J-1 program, there is a 30-day grace period during which the J-1/J-2 may stay in the U.S. Once the J-1 leaves the U.S., the J-2 dependents must leave as well.
If your dependent departs the U.S. permanently or changes their immigration status, you must report their departure/change of status to ISS. Please email email@example.com so that we can remove them as a dependent from your record.
J-2 dependents are eligible to work in the U.S. as long as they meet certain conditions first. Find out about J-2 work authorization on the J-2 Employment Authorization page.
There is no regulatory restriction on study for J-2 dependents. J-2 dependents may study part time or full time in the United States.
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 SEVIS Form DS-2019 issued in his or her own name and a J-2 visa.
In order to obtain DS-2019's for your dependents, you will need to email the documents below to ISS at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then create a new DS-2019 for you (indicating that you have dependents) and J-2 DS-2019's for your dependents.
If your spouse or child is already inside the U.S. in another non-immigrant status, there are two ways to change ones status to J-2:
Once your dependent receives a J-2 visa and enters the U.S. as a J-2 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 ISS using the Document Upload e-form on UB Global.