J-2 Dependent Status
A J-1 Exchange Visitor's spouse and children may be eligible for J-2 status. Other family members are not eligible for J-2 status. Persons in J-2 status can enroll in school and are eligible to apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for employment authorization. J-2 dependents are issued a form DS-2019 in their name.
The Office of International Affairs issues DS-2019 documents for bringing dependents of J-1's who are on the Texas Tech Exchange Visitor Program. Exchange Visitors who wish to bring dependents must provide documentation of J-1 status, documentation of financial responsibility for themselves and their dependents, and biographical information on each dependent. A J-2 Dependent Information form is available on this webpage. J-1's on other programs must consult with the Responsible Officer of their program concerning bringing dependents to the United States.
With a DS-2019 issued for entry of J-2 dependents, the family members can apply for J-2 visas at a U.S. consulate. They must be prepared to provide financial evidence, documentation of the family relationship, and evidence of intent to return home after being in the U.S. Approval of J-2 visa applications is not guaranteed simply by the fact that the J-1 spouse or parent is in the United States. With the DS-2019 and J-2 visas, the family members are eligible to come to the U.S. Upon arrival in the U.S., the family members are required to report to the Office of International Affairs with their immigration documents. Current address information for J-2 dependents must be maintained with the Office of International Affairs just as it is for J-1 exchange visitors.
Department of State regulations require persons in J-2 status to maintain health, repatriation and evacuation insurance.
Questions should be directed to the Scholars Counselor at the OIA at (806) 742-3667.
J-2 Dependent Employment
Persons in J-2 Dependent status are eligible to apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for employment authorization. The wages from the J-2's employment cannot be used to support the J-1 Exchange Visitor. Applications from J-2 dependents in Lubbock are filed with the Texas Service Center of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). When approved the J-2 will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card, INS form I-766. With this card the J-2 can work part-time or full-time, at any job, for any employer within the dates of validity of the card. EAD cards are issued for one year or until the program end date on the J-2's form DS-2019, whichever is shorter. An EAD card can also be used to show eligibility for a Social Security Number.
USCIS may take 60 to 90 days or more to process the application for employment authorization. A J-2 can only work during periods when he or she has an EAD. Although a J-2 can apply for an extension and new card by following the same application procedures as the first time, there is no guarantee that the new card will be received before the expiration of the first card. There is no extension of employment authorization until the new card is received.
- Complete an immigration form I-765, "Application for Employment Authorization" showing "(c)(5)( )" in item 16. In Part 1 the address should be "Office of International Affairs, Box 45004 Texas Tech, Lubbock, TX 79409-5004." (Form available on USCIS webpage).
- A copy of any previously issued EAD cards.
- Two color passport photos taken within the last thirty days with a white background.
- A copy of front and back of the J-2's and J-1's forms I-94, "Departure Record."
- A copy of the J-1's and J-2's form DS-2019.
- A $380 check or money order payable to "DHS."
- A letter from the J-2 to the USCIS Texas Service Center requesting employment authorization, telling why the J-2 wishes to work, and stating that money from the employment will not be used to support the J-1 spouse or parent. (A sample letter is available on this webpage)
J-2 Dependent Travel
The Form DS-2019 can be used by dependents to obtain J-2 visas from overseas U.S. consulates, and for entry into the United States. In using the DS-2019 the following rules should be observed.
- Upon entry or re-entry into the United States, copies of all immigration documents should be provided to the Office of International Affairs (OIA).
- OIA should be notified of any plans for future travel by a J-2 outside the United States.
- A Form DS-2019 that is not used must be returned to OIA within 90 days.
- OIA should be notified of the final departure of a J-2 from the United States including the date of departure and port of exit.
- Appropriate Health, Repatriation, and Evacuation Insurance must be maintained on all J-2 family members while they are in the United States.