J-2 Dependents

Your spouse and children can accompany you to the U.S. under the J-2 Dependent visa status. Dependents of J-1 Exchange Visa holders are defined as immediate family - a spouse or unmarried child/children under the age of 21. Non-immediate family members do not qualify for a J-2 visa status and must enter the U.S. under their own non-immigrant status, usually as B-2 non-immigrant visitors.

You must show evidence of adequate financial support for each one of your dependents; the U.S. Federal Government requires J-2 visa holders to purchase and maintain health insurance coverage.

In order to be considered for a J-2 Dependent Visa your dependents must first acquire Form DS-2019. Please follow the application process below:

  • List all accompanied dependent in the Application for DS-2019
  • Additional financial support must be provided for each dependent. Estimate annual expenses : $8,000 for spouse, $6,000 for each child.
  • Note: J-2 visa holders are not required to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee.
  • Once an initial DS-2019 is received, the J-2 dependent listed must schedule an appointment with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate office to apply for the J-2 visa, as soon as possible. To locate the Embassy/Consulate near you click here. Embassies and Consulates review a vast number of applications and you may have to wait for an appointment. To learn more about wait and processing times please visit www.travel.state.gov
  • Dependent should contact your local U.S. Embassy/Consulate and follow their procedure for J-2 visa application process.
  • To prepare for your visa interview, learn as much as you can about the forms and documents required of you please click here. Be prepared to convince the consul that you will return to your home country after completing your study course. Place large emphasis on your personal, family and economic ties with your home country, show undeniable reasons why you will return home:
    • present copies of property ownership
    • business ownership by you or your family
    • if you have traveled to the U.S. before emphasize that you have returned home
    • if your siblings have studied in the U.S. and have returned home show copies of their diplomas, etc.
Each dependent must bring with them:
  • a valid passport
  • the original Form DS-2019 for J-2
  • a copy of the Form DS-2019 for J-1
  • a copy of J-1 passport biographical page
  • financial support documents (bank statements, proof of scholarship/assistantship)
  • a copy of Letter of Admissions from Stockton University
  • a copy of your J-1 visa stamp (if available)
  • A “consul” makes a decision to grant or deny a visa. The Consul’s job is to make sure that persons who are issued visas will return home after completion of studies. As a person wishing to enter the U.S. you will be viewed as someone wishing to remain in the U.S. permanently therefore your job as an interviewee is to convince the Consul that you will return home after completing your study course. The Consul is required by law to say: “You are not coming back home when you finish your studies!” Do not become offended and make sure, to the best of your ability, to convince the Consul that you will indeed return home after completion of your study course. The Consul’s job is to administer the law so DO NOT try to neither negotiate with the Consul nor discuss personal matters.
  • Once the J-2 Dependents visa has been acquired and your dependent has arrived in the United States, they are required to check in with the Office of Global Engagement and provide a copy of each dependent’s immigration documents as well as proof of insurance.  


J-2 dependent’s status depends on the legality of the J-1 visa holder. As long as the J-1 student/scholar remains in legal status, his/her dependents can travel in/out of the country by themselves. J-2 dependents are required to have their DS-2019 endorsed for travel so they can re-enter the U.S. territory. To learn more about the 2 Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement please visit Travel.State.Gov for more information.
Keep in mind that the number one reason that visas are denied is due to the fact that applicants are unable to prove that they will return home after the completion of studies. Therefore do not put emphasis on your ties with the U.S. relatives or friends, emphasizing instead your strong commitments and ties to your home country, family and resources.


J-2 visa holders are allowed to work, provided they are in legal status. J-2 visa holders must apply for an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. To learn more about the J-2 employment regulation please visit the USCIS Exchange Visitor's website here.
  • Lawful J-2 dependents can apply for an EAD card with the USCIS. Each EAD card is issued for a period of 1 year and can be extended prior to/after its expiration date.
  • J-2 dependents may apply for a Social Security Number once they acquire an EAD card.
  • The EAD card is valid for up to one year of part-time or full-time work. Dependent’s income received from their employment cannot be used to support the primary J-1 student/scholar.

Resources for Parents

Public schools in the area

Your J-2 dependents (children) can enroll into a local school in the city where you reside.  Please feel free to contact the school district of the city directly for more information:

Child care/Preschools in the area

Visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for general questions.