Dependents in J-2 status may request employment authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Income from the J-2’s employment may be used to support the family’s customary recreational and cultural activities and related travel, among other things. Employment will not be authorized if the income is needed to support the J-1. Employment may be authorized up to twelve months, and may be renewed annually.
The application for employment authorization may take up to 90 days to be processed. If approved, the J-2 will be issued an employment authorization card. The card will have an expiration date, and may be renewed annually. During the period of authorized employment, the J-2 may accept any kind of employment, full-time or part-time. J-2 employment may be authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service for the duration of the J-1 principal's authorized stay as indicated on Form DS-2019 or for a period of four years, whichever is shorter.
To apply for work authorization, please refer to the J2 Work Authorization Guide. We strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with an ISSS advisor to review the application process and timeline before applying.