J-2 Visas for Spouses and Child(ren) of J-1 Visa Holders

J-2 Visas for Spouses and Child(ren) of J-1 Visa Holders

Many J-1 exchange visitors may obtain J-2 visas for spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 to accompany them to the United States.  Eligibility for a J-2 visa depends on the specific exchange program being offered to the J-1 non-immigrant by their sponsor organization. The exchange categories of au pair, camp counselor, secondary school student and summer work travel do not permit J-2 visas. The J-2 visa holder may remain in the United States as long as the principle J-1 visa holder has valid J-1 status.

How do I apply for a J-2 visa for my family members?

The application procedure for a J-2 visa is the same as that for a primary visa applicant. The sponsor must approve the accompaniment of the spouse and/or children.  If you need any assistance in obtaining a J-2 visa for your family members, please contact our experienced immigration and visa attorneys.  We are ready to help you with your immigration and visa needs today! [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]


Can my family members work in the U.S. if they hold a valid J-2 visa?

Yes.  One of the major benefits of the Exchange Visitor Program is that the J-1 visa allows employment by dependents.   J-2 status holders may accept employment with USCIS authorization, provided that their income is not used to support a J-1 holder. After obtaining an employment authorization document, the J-2 holder may accept offers from any employer within the authorized period. Current regulations provide that if the USCIS cannot complete the application review within 90 days after the application has been filed, an interim employment authorization period of 240 days must be granted.

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