Center for Global Services
J-2 Dependents

A J-2 dependent is defined as either a spouse or an unmarried child under 21 years of age of the J-1 exchange visitor. J-2 dependents may either enter the U.S. simultaneously with the J-1 exchange visitor or separately afterwards, but never prior to the initial arrival of the J-1 visitor.

Requesting a J-2 Visa Eligibility Document
To request a J-2 certificate of eligibility (DS-2019) for your spouse or child you must attend the Center's "Dependent Workshop". This workshop is offered once per month; the schedule is listed on our website Calendar. At any time after you have attended the workshop, you may submit your request for a dependent DS-2019, which must include:

Please keep in mind that applicants for a J-2 visa should not present themselves at a U.S. consulate with a DS-2019 that has been issued more than 3 months earlier. Please plan your request for a dependent DS-2019 accordingly.

Once you have the dependent DS-2019 and have sent it to your dependent, your dependent will then need to apply at a U.S. consulate for a J-2 visa to enter the U.S. or, if your dependent is in the U.S. already in another status, he or she will have to apply for a change of status to J-2.

Maintaining J-2 Status

J-2 Employment
J-2s may apply to the USCIS for employment authorization as long as the purpose of the employment is deemed to be for their personal fulfillment and not for the purpose of supporting the J-1 visitor during his/her program. J-2s may not engage in employment until they are granted authorization to work from USCIS. More information is available on our Procedure for J-2 Employment Authorization Applications . If after consulting the handout the J-1 or J-2 visa holders have any questions, they should meet with their assigned international student or scholar adviser.

Resources for Dependents
Many spouses who come to the U.S. face adjustment difficulties, and can experience frustration and difficulty communicating with others on a daily basis. While J-1 visa holders are busy at the University, some spouses may feel lonely and isolated. We suggest you familiarize yourself with the following special resources to assist international families in their transition to life in the U.S. These programs offer excellent opportunities for dependents to practice English, learn about day-to-day living in the U.S., become involved in community activities, socialize with other spouses, and learn from others' experiences. We hope that your dependents will participate!

International Women's Group (IWG)
International Friendship Program
English Conversation Programs

Also, there are numerous volunteer opportunities for those who speak English. Check your local paper or contact your local "United Way" agency for details.