The spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of individuals in J-1 status are eligible for J-2 status. Only the spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 will be issued Form DS-2019 to support J-2 status. If you would like to obtain J-2 status, you must request a J-2 DS-2019 from the ISO. The J-2 Request form must be completed and submitted to the ISO along with the following supplemental documents:
- proof of financial support in the amount of $500 per person per month for the duration of the J-1's program (in addition to the amount required for the support of the J-1)
- copy of passport ID page for each applicant
The J-2 status of spouses and children depends on the J-1 status of the parent or spouse. If the parent or spouse is not in status, his or her family is not in status. J-2 spouses and children must also ensure that they maintain a valid passport, valid Form DS-2019 and appropriate health insurance coverage.
Dependents eligible for J-2 status may apply for an J-2 visa stamp with their J-1 spouse or parent. Most consulates will schedule J-1 and J-2 visa applications at the same time, but it is important that consulates are informed that there will be accompanying J-2 applicants at the time that a visa application interview is scheduled. Dependents residing in the U.S. in a qualifying status may also be eligible to change status in the U.S. if they are residing in the U.S. in a qualifying status and begin the process well in advance of the start date on Form DS-2019.
Adding J-2 dependents after arrival in the US
You may bring J-2 dependents to the US after you have already arrived and started your program. J-2 dependents are defined as spouse and minor (under age 21) children. It does not include other family members such as parents or siblings of the J-1 Exchange Visitor.
To obtain the DS-2019 form your J-2 dependents please complete the J-2 request form and attach proof of financial support at an additional $500 per person per month for the duration of your program. Also attach a copy of each J-2 applicants' passport ID page. Submit these documents to the ISO.
In addition, your dependents may enter the US with a J-2 visa either at the same time you do, or sometime later, until either their J-2 visas expire or about 30 days before the end date indicated on your form.
PLEASE NOTE! As dependents, J-2 dependents have no status of their own! Your J-2 dependent’s status is dependent on the validity of your J-1 status. This means your J-2 dependents may not enter the U.S. before you do, or before you check in with ISO. Further, your J-2 dependent’s status ends when your status ends. Your J-2 dependents may not remain in the U.S. when your J-1 status expires and you have returned to your home country.
In practice, it should not be a problem for your dependents if you go abroad alone for a brief (one month or less) trip, leaving them behind in the U.S. However, your dependent remains at risk until you return to the U.S. and resume your J-1 status.
Any J-2 dependent that will reach the age of 21 during the J-1 program will lose status on his or her 21st birthday. Please contact the ISO well in advance to discuss options.