J-2 dependents may apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for permission to accept employment if such employment is needed for the support of the dependent(s), but not for the support of the J-1. The application should include:
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization [item #16, the eligibility category for J-2 dependents should be noted as (c)(5)( )];
- Documentary evidence of the J-1's funding, which may include a UC Davis salary noted on the DS-2019, a sponsor's letter, or bank statements;
- Documentary evidence of the relationship of the J-2 and the J-1, such as a marriage certificate and/or birth certificate of children;
- Application Letter stating reasons that you need to work for financial support, using this template. Please print or edit it, filling in your specific personal information, and sign it.
- Two passport size photos that adhere to the State Department's guidelines;
- Fee of $410 (subject to change), check or money order payable to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security" with the J-2's name clearly printed in the Memo line on the front of the check;
- Photocopy of J-1's DS-2019;
- Copy of J-1's I-94 (print from the I-94 Admission Number Retrieval);
- Photocopy of J-2's DS-2019;
- Copy of J-2 I-94 (print from the I-94 Admission Number Retrieval);
- Photocopy of previously issued Employment Authorization Document (EAD), if applicable.
How to Apply
The application should be sent by CERTIFIED MAIL with return receipt requested to the address you listed on your application letter. Please make copies of all documents and forms before you send them, including your check, and save any receipts or notices you receive from USCIS. Once the J-2 receives a receipt for the case, you can track its status.
After processing your materials to determine your eligibility, the USCIS will issue you an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and mail it to you within California.
If possible, please do not move and change your address while your EAD application is pending. Your EAD will not be forwarded to the new address but returned to USCIS by the Post Office. If you already know that you will have to move and change your address during the months following the submission of your application, you could use a trusted friend’s address (care of) on the application. If you move while your EAD application is pending, you will have to notify USCIS directly. If your address changes, please also remember to email your new address to SISS within 10 days of address change, which is a requirement for all J-1 visa holders. This allows SISS to update your record in SEVIS.
J-2 employment authorization is valid for any kind of employment, without limitation as to full-time or part-time, and ends when the J-1's authorized stay expires or the EAD expires, depending on which date comes first. Note that employment will be authorized only for the period covered by the J-1’s DS-2019. Extension of stay must be accomplished before further employment authorization. If you wish to request an extension of the J-2 employment authorization, you may do so only after extension of stay.
J-2s may not work beyond the ending date of the approved period even if an application for extension of stay and work authorization has been filed with USCIS. To avoid an interruption of your approved employment, submit your application for extension no later than 90 days prior to the expiration date.
For more information, please contact the international student or scholar advisor who advises your J-1 spouse. For a list of international student and scholar advisors and the individuals they advise, please refer to our staff list.