What Is the J-2 Visa?
The J-2 visa is a US nonimmigrant visa for dependents. Spouses or unmarried children under 21 years old can accompany a J-1 visa holder with the J-2 visa. J-2 visa holders are dependent on the status of the J-1 person, so any changes to the J-1 status will result in changes to the J-2 status too.
Who Is Eligible for J-2 Status?
Since there are so many categories of J-1 visas, each one has their own rules to the J-2 visa. Categories of au pair, camp counselor, secondary school student, and work and travel participants are not allowed to have J-2 dependents accompany them to the US. Other categories are allowed to have J-2 dependents.
However, since J-1 visa holders are sponsored by different organizations and programs, they might be allowed to have a J-2 dependent only if their program allows it. For example, if you are a university student and would like to bring your spouse to the US on a J-2 visa, the US government does not state any objectives for this. But if your sponsor does not allow you to, then you may not bring your spouse to the US on a J-2 visa.
Can I Work on a J-2 Visa?
Yes, you can work on a J-2 Visa, but only under certain circumstances.
What Privileges Do I Enjoy on a J-2 Visa?
As with J-1 visas, J-2 visas do not have a cap, so there are no limitations to the number of people who can get this type of visa. J-2 visa holders are allowed to enroll in academic study, get a driver’s license, open bank accounts, travel in and out of the US anytime, as well as work under certain circumstances.
How Do I Apply for a J-2 Visa?
The J-2 visa application is similar to the J-1 visa application. If the J-1 sponsor allows them to bring dependents, they will issue them a separate DS-2019 form.
a Step-By-Step Guide to Applying for a J-2 Visa
With the DS-2019 form, the J-2 application procedure involves applying online by filing the DS-160 form, pay the visa application fee, schedule an interview appointment and get the confirmation letter, submit the required documents, and then attend the interview.
The documents you require include your passport, your DS-160 form barcode, your interview confirmation letter, one US visa style photograph, all SEVIS pages and a copy of your DS-2019 form, a copy of the J-1 visa holder's DS-2019 form, a marriage certificate if you are a spouse or birth certificate for a child, and proof that you have the funds to cover expenses.
In addition to all this, you must have health insurance to qualify for getting the J-2 visa. Most exchange program sponsors provide health insurance to the primary J-1 visa holder. Some of them might also provide the insurance for J-2 dependents too, but some of them do not. If the J-1 program sponsor does not provide valid health insurance coverage for J-2 dependents, you will have to enroll in one yourself.
What Are the Limitations of the J-2 Visa?
There are not many limitations under the J-2 Visa. You are dependent upon the status of the principal J-1 holder and can only apply for a work permit after arriving in the United States.
Can J-2 Dependents Study?
Yes, J-2 visa holders are allowed to enroll in academic study.
Can a J-2 Get a Social Security Number/Card?
You are not eligible for a Social Security number unless you first apply for employment authorization. If you already have a social security number, you may not work in the U.S. on a J-2 Visa without first applying for employment authorization.
How Long Can I Stay In the United States on a J-2 Visa?
On a J-2 Visa, you may stay in the U.S. as long as the principal J-1 visa holder has valid status. You lose your status once the principal J-1 visa holder loses status.