The J-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa for dependents (spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21) of J-1 visa holders. J-2 visa holders are dependent on the status of the J-1 Visa Holder. Any changes to the J-1 status will result in changes to the J-2 status.
J-1 Categories can be summarized as:
- Au Pair
- Camp Counselor
- Graduate Student (Doctoral, Masters, and Undergrad)
- Public School Teacher
- Research Scholar
- Secondary school students (Foreign Exchange Student)
- Summer work study and Intern (aka Hotel and Hospitality Intern)
How long can I stay on a J-2 Visa in the US?
Since the J-2 Visa is a dependent visa, its validity, duration and extension eligibility are directly tied to the J-1 visa status, generally the spouse or parent of the visa holder. However, not every J-1 Visa Category permits a J-2 Dependant.
Can I change my J2 Visa status to another Visa Status?
A J-2 may be able to Change Status to another visa. However, the defining factor is whether the J-1 visas has a two-year home residency requirement, which this condition normally applies to J-2 dependents, and should always be considered.
If the J-1 visa holder applies for a waiver of the home residency requirement and receives an approval, the waiver can apply to the J-2 visa holder as well.
If a J-2 visa holder does not have a home residency requirement because the J-1 visa holder does not have that restriction, the J-2 may change be able to status to another visa or apply for permanent residence.
Can I apply for Employment Authorization as a J-2?
J-2 visa holders are eligible to acquire an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) after arrival and allowed to seek employment in the U.S.
With a granted EAD, you may apply Social Security Number (SSN) to file your taxes as per U.S. laws.
I am a J-1 and I am interested in bringing my family (spouse or child under 21) to the US, can they apply at the U.S. Consulate?
Generally, yes, a professional J-1 can have the spouse and any child under 21 apply for a J-2 Visa at the US Consulate abroad. Heavy consideration must be given to whether J-1 2-Year Home Residency Requirements are involved, whether an F Visa or H Visa would be better, the estimated time to be in the US, the remainder on the J-1’s DS-2019, and many other factors to confirm a J-2 Visa is a good fit.
Since eligibility depends on many factors, please contact Fickey Martinez Law Firm to set up a Consultation with our Immigration Attorney.