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J-2 Dependents

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 information.

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.

Employment
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 status.

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.

ISSO
Boston University
February 28, 2005

Boston University International Students & Scholars Office