Only the spouse and minor children (under age 21) who accompany the primary visa holder to the U.S. may receive J-2 dependent status. Their eligibility to stay legally in the U.S., as well as to extend their stay, is contingent upon the primary visa holder maintaining his/her legal status and extending his/her program in a timely manner.

All other family members must apply for a B-1 or B-2 visitor’s visa to gain entry to the U.S. For more information on B-1/B-2 visitor visas for other family members, refer to Information for inviting dependents, relatives and or friends to the U.S.

J-2 Dependents

The spouse and minor children (under age 21) of the J-1 exchange visitor may be admitted into the U.S. in J-2 classification, if each dependent presents a SEVIS Form DS-2019 issued in his or her own name and a J-2 visa.  To request a DS-2019 for your dependent:

  • Complete the Request to Invite Dependents E-Form via My OIS
  • Complete the Certification of Financial Responsibility E-Form via My OIS
  • The dependent DS-2019(s) will be ready within 5 business days from receipt of all materials.  OIS will notify you by email when ready for pick up.

Documents required Needed to Apply for a J-2 Visa

  • Valid passport
  • Photographs
  • J-2 dependent DS-2019
  • Visa application fee
  • Visa application forms
  • Supporting documentation including copies of the spouse’s J-1 immigration documents, proof of study or program at U-M, and financial documentation.

Important information about J-2 Status

After your dependent(s) arrive in Pittsburgh, please provide us with a copy of their: passport biographic page(s), visa stamp(s), & I-94(s). You can upload these documents in My OIS (select Biographical Information and then choose Update Immigration Documents).

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

A J-2 spouse or child may not be admitted for longer than the principal exchange visitor. After the program completion date on the Form DS-2019, the exchange visitor J-1 and the J-2 dependents may stay in the U.S. for an additional period of 30 days; this is called the grace period. During this time, they may travel within the U.S. but may not be employed.

Once the J-1 primary has completed his or her program and has 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 not 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.


J-2 employment may be authorized in by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service for 12-months or for the J-1 principal’s authorized stay as indicated on Form I-94 and Form DS-2019, whichever is shorter.  If the J-1 principal’s authorized period of stay is extended or is longer than 12-months, the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) may be renewed once a year.

For more information on applying for an Employment Authorization, refer to J2 Employment Authorization Procedures

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


Currently there are no regulatory restrictions on study for J-2 dependents.
Return to J-1 Student page.

Return to J-1 Scholar page.