Only a spouse (legal marriage) and minor unmarried children under the age of 21 years are eligible for the dependent J-2 visa status. They may accompany the J-1 student or join them at a later date. Dependents will need their own DS-2019 form to apply for the J-2 visa stamp. The J-1 DS-2019 application includes a section for dependent information. The DGSOM Visa and Licensing will automatically provide DS-2019 forms for those dependents listed on the application.

However, if the J-1 Exchange Visitor is requesting DS-2019 forms for their dependents after the J-1 DS-2019 have already been issued, a J-2 Separate Entry Request must be submitted to the DGSOM Visa and Licensing through the Department Coordinators.

To enter the U.S. as a J-2 dependent, each dependent must have a DS-2019 and a J-2 visa.

Information about J-2 Status

The status of the J-2 may be extended when the J-1’s program and DS-2019 is extended.

A J-2 may not be admitted for longer than the J-1. After the program completion date on the Form DS-2019, the J-1 and the J-2s  may stay in the U.S. for an additional period of 30 days; this is called the grace period. During the grace period you may travel within the U.S but may not work or re-enter the US in J-1/J-2 status.

Once the J-1 has completed his or her program and left the U.S., the J-2 dependents must leave as well.

Immigration regulations require that all J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents be covered by health insurance while participating in the exchange visitor program.

Dependent children over age 21 are no longer eligible for J-2 status and will need to change to another status such as F-1 (for full time students) if they wish to stay in the U.S.


Currently there are no regulatory restrictions on study for J-2 dependents.


J-2 employment may be authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service for the duration of the J-1 principal's authorized stay as indicated on Form I-94 and Form DS-2019.

For more information on applying for an Employment Authorization, refer to I-765, Application for Employment Authorization - The spouse or unmarried child (under 21 years of age) of an Exchange Visitor holding a valid J-2 visa status may work in the United States with authorization from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Applications must be sent to the USCIS Service Center.

Effective April 1, 2024, the I-765 filing fee will increase to $470 for online filing and $520 for paper filing.

After obtaining the EAD, the J-2 spouse may apply for a Social Security Number and will be subject to federal and local income tax.

J-2 Dependent Resources

About the J-2 Visa - U.S. Department of State Website

UCLA Connect: A Network for Relocated Spouses and Partners - The group has a weekly meeting on Fridays at 11 am at the UCLA Dashew Center and events such as happy hours to workshops, throughout the year!