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J-2 Dependents

Bringing Dependents into the USA as J-2 Visa Holders:

Your spouse or unmarried child/children under 21 may accompany you under  J-2 dependent status while you pursue a program of study, research or teaching in the U.S.; Non-immediate family members must enter in their own non-immigrant status, most commonly as B-2 visitors. They may also come later, entering the US by themselves.

Whether you decide to bring your family members with you at the time of your initial entry or at a later time, you are required to show evidence for each dependent of adequate financial support. J-2 dependents are required by law to purchase and maintain adequate health insurance coverage.

Funds Verification for International Students

You must be able to show an additional amount of financial support for each J-2 dependent.  We encourage applicants to use the FundsV electronic verification service to satisfy TCNJ’s requirements for financial documentation!


Procedures for J-2 Requests:

STEP 1: Submit the following documentation to The Center for Global Engagement in Green Hall 111

Once the office adds your dependent(s) to your SEVIS record, a new DS-2019 is issued to you and each of your accompanying dependent.

STEP 2: Provide your dependent(s) with the following documentation for their visa application

  • New J-2(DS-2019) (original)
  • Your DS-2019 (copy)
  • Your passport biographical page (copy)
  • Your J-1 visa stamp (copy)
  • Your I-94
  • Your letter of invitation.

STEP 3: Your dependent(s) should contact their local U.S. Embassy/Consular Office at and follow the procedures for J-2 visa application.

STEP 4: When your dependent(s) arrives in Ewing, have them check in at the Center for Global Engagement and provide a copy of each dependent’s immigration documents ( and proof of insurance for J-2 dependents).

Procedures for Visiting Family (B-2 Status):

If you would like to invite your parents or other immediate family members for a short visit in the U.S., your family member(s) should contact their local U.S. Embassy/Consular Office and follow the procedures for B-2 visa application:

J-2 Travel:

Dependents in J-2 generally need the same documents to re-enter the U.S. as the primary J-1 student. Be sure to obtain an endorsement on the dependent DS-2019 in order to re-enter the U.S.

Dependents are not required to travel with the primary J-1 student. In addition, dependents may remain in the U.S. without the primary as long as the J-1 maintains their current status and will return after a temporary absence (generally 30 days or less) using the same SEVIS ID number.

Taking Classes

J-2 dependents are allowed to pursue study part-time or full-time until Department of State publishes new J regulations stating otherwise.

Working (Volunteering) in the US/Social Security Number:

J-2 dependents may work in the U.S. with a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) issued by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). J-2’s EAD is valid for any kind of full-time or part-time employment. However, it cannot be used to support the J-1 student.

  • Lawful J-2 dependents may apply for EAD by filing Form I-765 with USCIS. An EAD can be issued for up to 1 year at a time or for the validity of DS-2019, which ever is shorter. It is possible to extend an EAD.

J-2 dependents may apply for a social security number if they are in possession of a valid Employment Authorization Document.

J-2 dependents may volunteer if their volunteer activities do not displace a paid position


As long as J-1 students maintain lawful status, their J-2 dependents are allowed to travel in and out of country by themselves with proper documentation.

If a J-1 student is on Academic Training, the J-2 dependents are advised to carry a copy of J-1 student’s Academic Training authorization letter in addition to their own immigration documents.

Changing Status from J-2 to J-1

It is possible to change status in the U.S. if J-2 dependents are not subject to the 212(e) 2-year home residence requirement or if they are approved for a waiver of 212(e). For more information, please contact the Center for Global Engagement.

Waiver of the J-2 Visa 2-Year Foreign Residence Requirements, 212(e)