J-2 dependent

A J-2 dependent may receive authorization from USA Citizenship and Immigration Services for the duration of the J-1 scholar’s program. If the J-2 dependent meets the required criteria and complies with the guidelines for employment, any type of lawful employment is permitted, full or part-time. However, it cannot be for the purpose of supporting the J-1 parent or spouse.

To apply for employment, the J-2 dependent must submit the following:

  • G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
  • USA Citizenship and Immigration Services Form I-765
  • $410 check or money order payable to “USA Department of Homeland Security”
  • Letter explaining why work authorization is sought (see sample below) written by J-2 applicant; the letter should state that employment is not necessary to support the J-1
  • Photocopies of the J-2’s and J-1’s current and prior DS-2019 forms
  • Two photos
    • Photos should be passport style: white background, un-mounted glossy, with a full face position, un-retouched
    • Photos should not be taken earlier than 30 days before submission to the USA Citizenship and Immigration Services
    • Lightly print your name on the back of each photo with a pencil
  • Photocopy of the identification page in the J-2’s passport
  • Photocopy of the visa page in J-2’s passport
  • Photocopy of J-2’s I-94 card
  • Photocopies of any Employment Authorization Document cards issued previously to the J-2
  • Photocopy of the J-2’s driver’s license or other photo identification, if available
  • Marriage certificate (if spouse of the J-1), or birth certificate (if child of the J-1)
    • Foreign-language documents should include an English translation

Employment is generally authorized up to twelve months, and may be renewed annually. However, if J-2 status (DS- 2019) is valid for more than one year, the J-2 can attempt to request more time by submitting a statement such as, “I would like to request employment until the end date of my DS-2019 on ______(include actual end date here).

Sample letter

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[Your Phone or Email]


To Whom It May Concern:

I am the J-2 dependent of J-1 Exchange Visitor, [insert J-1’s name] and I wish to apply for an Employment Authorization Document. My [insert word “spouse” or “parent”] receives a [insert salary, stipend, grant, scholarship, whichever is relevant] from [insert funding source] sufficient enough to provide for our living expenses. I am requesting to be employed to pursue [insert activities, such as recreational, cultural, travel, experience in the American workplace, etc.] I respectfully request to be granted permission to be employed in the USA.

Enclosed are all required documents. [List documents here if prefer]:

Thank you very much for your kind assistance.

[Your Name],

[Your Signature]