About the J-2 Visa

What is the J-2 Visa?

The J-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by a consular official at a U.S. embassy or consulate for spouses and dependents (unmarried children under the age of 21) of J-1 exchange visitors who accompany or later join the J-1 holder in the United States.

Who is eligible?

Eligibility for a J-2 Visa depends on the specific exchange program being offered to the J-1 non-immigrant by a sponsor organizations. The exchange categories of au pair, camp counselor, secondary school student and summer work travel do not permit J-2 Visas. In addition, although some categories allow for spouses and/or dependents to accompany a J-1 Visa holder, there are specific programs that do not.

How can I apply?

The application procedure is the same as that for a primary visa applicant. The sponsor must approve the accompaniment of the spouse and/or children who will each be issued their own Form DS-2019.

Common Questions

Can I work on a J-2 Visa?

In most cases a J-2 Visa holder can seek employment. To work, a J-2 Visa holder must obtain an Employment Authorization Document from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Money earned by a J-2 cannot be used to support the principal J-1 Visa holder.

What privileges do I enjoy on a J-2 Visa?

A J-2 may enter the United States along with their J-1 spouse or parent or join the J-1 while participating in their exchange program in the United States. They may study or work while in the United States.

What are the limitations of the J-2 Visa?

You are dependent upon the status of the principal J-1 holder and are only able to apply for a work permit after arriving in the United States.

How long can I stay in the United States on a J-2 Visa?

You may remain in the United States as long as the principal J-1 Visa holder has valid J-1 status.