The spouse and unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) of the J-1 scholar are eligible for J-2 dependent status.
J-2 dependents must have their own DS-2019.
- To request a DS-2019 for your J-2 dependent with your initial DS-2019, please complete the sections relating to Dependent Information.
- If you are requesting a dependent DS-2019 after you have arrived in US, please submit the Request for Dependent I-20 or DS-2019 form with the appropriate financial funding information
Once your dependent has received a DS-2019, he/she must either:
- Apply for a Visa at a US Consulate overseas (except citizens of Canada & Bermuda) or,
- Apply for a Change of Status within the US
- J-2 dependents are eligible to apply for employment authorization from USCIS as long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1 scholar.
- The Department of State mandates that all Exchange Visitors and their dependents carry adequate health insurance coverage for the entirety of their stay. Willful failure to comply with these insurance requirements will result in termination of the Exchange Visitor's program.
- The duration of their stay depends on the J-1’s period of stay, and is automatically extended along with the J-1’s
J-2 Exchange Visitors are required to have health insurance during the entirety of their stay.
- Willful failure to comply with these insurance requirements will result in termination of the Exchange Visitor's program.
- Insurance coverage must meet the following criteria:
- The insurance must cover the entire period of participation in the Exchange Visitor program (i.e. from the DS-2019 program start date to the end date).
- Medical benefits must provide a minimum of $100,000 (currently $50,000) per accident or illness.
- Medical evacuation must be covered in the amount of $50,000 (currently $10,000), minimum. Medical evacuation is emergency transportation to the home country.
- Repatriation must be covered in the amount of $25,000 (currently $7,500), minimum. Repatriation is the transportation of remains back to the home country in the unfortunate event of death.
- The deductible must not exceed $500 per accident or illness.
- Individuals who are Resident Aliens for tax purposes are subject to the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act
J-2 dependents are eligible to apply for employment authorization from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1.
Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations, part 214.2(j)(1(v) states:
"Income from the spouse's or dependent's employment may be used to support the family's customary recreational and cultural activities and related travel, among other things. Employment will not be authorized if this income is needed to support the J-1 principal alien."
PLEASE NOTE: Anyone who earns money in the US must have a social security number for taxpayer identification purposes. You may apply for a social security number only after you have received your EAD card. J-2 status holders are subject to social security taxes, federal income taxes and, where applicable, state and local income taxes.
To apply for permission to work in the US please read and print the Application Procedures.
- Currently, the regulations do not have a prohibition for J-2s engaging in post-secondary study on a full-time basis, as long as their primary purpose in the U.S. is to accompany the J-1 status holder.
- J-2 children are permitted to enroll full-time in elementary or secondary schools while in the U.S.
J-2 dependents follow similar travel and reentry procedures as the J-1 status holder, but should carry copies of the J-1’s most recent immigration documents if traveling separately.