Dependent Information

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Dependent Information

Frequently Asked Questions


Can J-2 spouses take classes?

Yes. J-2 dependents are allowed to pursue study part-time or full-time until Department of State publishes new J regulations stating otherwise.

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Can J-2 dependents work in the U.S.?

Yes. J-2 dependents may work in the U.S. with a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) issued by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). J-2's EAD is valid for any kind of full-time or part-time employment. However, it cannot be used to support the J-1 student.

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How do I apply for an Employment Authorization Document?

Lawful J-2 dependents may apply for EAD by filing Form I-765 with USCIS. An EAD can be issued for up to 1 year at a time or for the validity of DS-2019, whichever is shorter. It is possible to extend an EAD. For more information about the application procedures see the J-2 Application for Employment Authorization.

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Can J-2 dependents apply for a social security number?

Yes, J-2 dependents may apply for a social security number if they are in possession of a valid Employment Authorization Document.

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Can J-2 dependents volunteer in the U.S.?

J-2 dependents may volunteer if their volunteer activities do not displace a paid position.

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Can J-2 dependents travel without J-1 students?

Yes. As long as J-1 students maintain lawful status, their J-2 dependents are allowed to travel in and out of country by themselves with proper documentation. If a J-1 student is on Academic Training, the J-2 dependents are advised to carry a copy of J-1 student’s Academic Training authorization letter in addition to their own immigration documents.

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Can J-2 dependents change status (e.g. to F-1 student) in the U.S.?

It is possible to change status in the U.S. if J-2 dependents are not subject to the 212(e) 2-year home residence requirement or if they are approved for a waiver of 212(e). For more information, please contact The Office of International Programs.

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Is there a waiver for the 212(e) 2-year home residence requirement?

The Department of State Exchange Visitor Program has information on the waiver process on their website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info/info_1296.html

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Other questions?

Please contact Global Services at (936) 294-4737

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If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Office of International Programs.


Contact Information
Barbara Eckenfels, Executive Director Barbara Eckenfels
Executive Director of Special Programs
 eckenfels@shsu.edu   936.294.4455  CHSS 190 C
Amber Li, Coordinator Amber Li
Recruiter and Special Programs Coordinator
 amberli@shsu.edu   936.294.2746  F116 D
Pat Herrington, Advisor Pat Herrington
International Undergraduate Advisor
 ugrad.intl@shsu.edu   936.294.3892  F116 F
Justin Ball, Advisor Justin Ball
International Graduate Advisor
 grad.intl@shsu.edu   936.294.4607  F116 E








Office of International Programs
Farrington Building, Suite 116, Huntsville, TX 77340
Phone: 936-294-4737


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