Dependent Information

 Check In Important DocumentsMedical Insurance | Dependent Information | Maintaining Status | Extension of Stay | Transfer Process | Changing Status | Traveling 12 and 24 Month Bar | Two-Year Home Residency Requirement J-1 Scholars Home

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.

back to top

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.

back to top

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.

back to top

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.

back to top

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

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

back to top

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.

back to top

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.

back to top

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.

back to top

Other questions?

Please contact Office of International Programs at (936) 294-4607

back to top

The Office of International Programs (OIP) is responsible for all international students and scholars once they arrive at Sam Houston State University. We are glad to assist each department here at SHSU in bringing international students, visiting scholars/researchers and international faculty members to our campus.    

International students and scholars that have questions regarding their time here at SHSU can always visit us in OIP, we are located in the Farrington Building, room 116.  You can send us an email at or call us at (936) 294-4737.   

OIP provides information on most immigration issues and concerns for all international students and scholars here at SHSU.  We are glad to help with other issues such as cultural adjustment, language barrier, financial problems, and health related matters during your time at SHSU.  OIP offer several events during the year for all international students and scholars at SHSU. 


Facebook Logo  twitter-symbol-400x4001


Contact Information
Justin Ball Justin Ball
Interim Director of International Programs 936.294.4607 F116 D
dana Dana Van De Walker
Recruiter and Special Programs Coordinator 936.294.2746 F116 A
Ricardo Professional Picture Ricardo Williams
International Student Advisor 936.294.3892 F116 F