International Student Services
J-2 visa holders are the spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 years of age who accompany or later join the J-1 Exchange Visitor in the United States.
J-2 visa holders are allowed to engage in full- or part-time study and they can apply to USCIS for work authorization after having arrived in the United States.
Each J-2 has his or her own DS-2019 and J-2 visa stamp in his or her passport.
If the primary J-1 exchange student is subject to 212(e) (the two year home residence requirement), the dependents, or J-2s, are also subject. Please see the explanation of this requirement on the J-1 2-year Residence Requirement website page.
All J-2 visa holders must carry and maintain health insurance for the entire length of the J-1 exchange visitor's program while in the United States.
If a J-2 wants to change to J-1 status, this would be considered a change of status and the J-2 must abide by the rules of changing status. J-2s wishing to change to J-1 status are encouraged to make an appointment with the Assistant Director, International Student Services to discuss the options.
J-2s wishing to apply for work authorization in the United States should contact the Assistant Director, International Student Services for more information.
Finally, a J-2 can remain in the United States as long as the principle J-1 visa holder has valid J-1 status. A J-2 is dependent on the principle J-1 visa holder. If the principle J-1 violates status and is terminated, the J-1 and his or her J-2 dependents are also out of status and must leave the United States.