The J-1 visa or J-1 waiver holder that has a spouse and minor children, who are under the age of 21 and accompany the J-1 holder in the United States will apply for a J-2 visa. This is a dependent visa and will end the same time as the J-1 visa holder’s visitor status ends. This is a non-immigration visa classification that is not eligible for extended family members, such as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or siblings.
The J-2 visa is primarily for the spouse, the co-habitating partner or domestic partner, of the opposite or same sex, whose reason in entering the United States is to accompany the J-1 visa holder can apply for a B-2 visa. The eligibility of the individual applying for the J-2 visa is dependent on the specific exchange program of the J-1 visa holder and the application process includes the same as required for the primary visa holder. The sponsor must approve of the accompanying dependents and each dependent must be issued their own From DS-2019, which is required for the spouse and children to obtain a J-2 visa. The spouse and children will be issued a unique SEVIS ID number, but it will be signed by the J-1 primary applicant.
The J-2 dependents are permitted to study in the United States, without being required to apply for an F-1 student visa or change to the F-1 status. The spouse or children under 21 years of age are permitted to enroll in academic programs as recreational or seeking a degree. They are permitted to enroll full or part-time and can discontinue their studies at any time.
The J-2 visa holder is permitted to apply for work authorization, in most cases and can make the request for work authorization by submitting Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. When Form I-765 is authorized the J-2 visa holder is permitted to work for a period up to one year. The Employment Authorization Document may take between 3 and 5 months to be authorized and the J-2 visa holder can apply for extensions that are submitted annually.
Travel to the U.S.
The spouse and children holding the J-2 visa cannot travel to the United States ahead of the J-1 visa holder and must leave the United States when the J-1 visa holder must leave. The J-2 visa holder is able to freely travel in and out of the U.S. and do not have to be accompanied by the J-1 visa holder.
When more information is needed for the amount of time the dependent spouse and children can remain within the United States with the J-1 waiver holder or need immigration attorney advice about employment or study allowance the immigration lawyer Montana can answer these questions. The dependent of the J-1 waiver may have questions about travel to their home country and the Montana immigration lawyer can help to answer these questions.