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.
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.
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.
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.
Can J-2 dependents volunteer in the U.S.?
J-2 dependents may volunteer if their volunteer activities do not displace a paid position.
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.
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.
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
Please contact Global Services at (936) 294-4737