Only the spouse and unmarried minor
children (under 21 years old) of a J-1 student are eligible
to enter the United States in J-2 dependent status. Each
dependent must receive their own DS-2019 if they wish
to obtain a J-2 visa and enter the U.S. in J-2 status.
Benefits of J-2 Status
J-2 dependents may remain lawfully in the U.S. as long as the J-1
student is maintaining J-1 status. They
are allowed to study part-time or full-time in the U.S. Also, J-2
dependents may apply for temporary work permission from the U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) - see below for more
Requesting a DS-2019 for a Dependent
If your dependents have not already been issued their own DS-2019
documents and you wish to bring them to the U.S. in J-2 status,
you must request a new DS-2019
for J-2 dependent.
Entering the U.S. in J-2 Status
Dependents are eligible for admission to the United States in J-2
status when they either accompany the J-1 student into the U.S.,
wish join the J-1 student who has already been admitted into the
U.S. in J-1 status. Dependents must each present a valid DS-2019,
a valid J-2 visa (except citizens of Canada) and a passport that
is valid at least 6 months from the date of entry.
Changing Dependents to J-2 Status When They
Are Already in the U.S.
If you are a Boston University J-1 student and your dependents are
already present in the U.S. in another nonimmigrant status, the
ISSO will assist you with an application to change
your dependents to J-2 status. However, if they have imminent
plans to travel out of the U.S. before their current nonimmigrant
status expires, they should follow the above instructions for entering
the U.S. in J-2 Status.
J-2 dependents may apply to the USCIS for work authorization. J-2
employment income cannot be used to support the J-1 student,
but only to support the family's customary recreational and cultural
activities and related travel, etc. The USCIS may grant J-2 work
permission for up to four years or until the program end date of
the J-1's current DS-2019, whichever is shorter. Although a recommendation
is not required from the ISSO, we are happy to assist the dependents
of our J-1 students' dependents with the application process. Please,
click here for more information on applying
for work authorization.
Extension of Stay for J-2 Dependents
A J-2 dependent must receive a new DS-2019 any time the J-1 student's
DS-2019 is amended or extended. A J-2 dependent may otherwise remain
in the U.S. for as long as the J-1 student maintains
Other Family Members
If other members of a J-1 student's family, including children over
the age of 21, wish to enter the U.S. temporarily to visit the student
in the U.S., they may enter on a B-2 tourist visa. Boston University
J-1 students may request a letter
of invitation from the ISSO to send to a relative to assist
them with applying for a B-2 visa.