A J-2 spouse or child can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) in order to be employed in the United States. The J-2 may begin employment only after receiving the EAD from USCIS. Application process is typically 3-4 months.
- Dependent must hold valid J-2 status and the Exchange Visitor must hold valid J-1 status
- Income earned with an approved EAD must not be used to support the J-1 scholar.
- Dependents may only work after they receive an EAD card from the USCIS and only during the dates indicated on the EAD card.
- Dependents may work part-time or full-time, at any job, for any employer (except practice medicine, even if licensed). There is no legal limit to the amount that you may earn.
- USCIS can authorize J-2 employment for as long as the J-1 Exchange Visitor has permission to stay or for a period of four years, whichever is shorter. Permission to stay expires on the date shown on the DS-2019 form. Please note: USCIS only authorizes periods of work for one year at a time.
How to Apply
To apply for an EAD, please compile the following documents and make an appointment with an Alternative/Responsible Officer at SMU by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Complete J-2 Application form Employment Authorization form
- Complete I-765 Form, do not forget to sign at the bottom. The code for question 20 is "(C)(5)( )”.
- Check or money order made payable to the Department of Homeland Security for $410.
- Two (2) passport photos with I-94 number and family name written on back of each picture in pencil
- Copy of both the J-1’s and J-2’s DS-2019 forms.
- Copy of both the J-1’s and J-2’s passport identity pages (including picture, name, and expiration date).
- Copy of both the J-1’s and J-2’s I-94 card (front & back) or an I-94 printout (cbp.gov/i94)
- Brief letter from J-2 dependent explaining that the work permission is not to support the J-1
- Copy of J-2’s previous EAD cards (front and back), if applicable.
- Copy of marriage or birth certificate and English translation, if not in English.
- Form G-1145 e-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, Optional
J-2 Work Authorization Application