University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

J Visa

J-2 Visa Status

The J-2 visa is a dependent visa. Eligible dependents are the spouse and unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) of the J-1 exchange visitor. This does not include U.S. citizens (i.e. children born in the U.S.). Other family members, such as parents, brothers, sister, etc. are NOT eligible. However, they may be eligible for short-term visits as B-2 or WT tourists.

Please Note:Dependents are not required to enter on a J-2 dependent visa. They may enter as tourists or in other visa classes for which they qualify. For shorter visits (3 months or less) a tourist visa may be the most appropriate choice.

Funding Requirements:

The J-1 is required to show adequate funding for their dependents for the entire length of the J-1 program.

Funding requirements are:

  • 1 Dependent      $691/month
  • 2 Dependents    $971/month
  • 3 Dependents    $1,196/month
  • 4 Dependents    $1,425/month
  • 5 Dependents    $1,647/month

Health Insurance Requirement:

The J-1 is required to provide their dependents with adequate health insurance, as required by the J Exchange Visitor visa regulations.The University of Minnesota (UMN) requires all international scholars, student-interns, and accompanying dependents to purchase the university’s insurance - the Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP). See J Health Insurance for more information, and review our Frequently Asked Questions about J-2 Health Insurance.

Initial Entry into the U.S.:

The J-2 dependent can either accompany the J-1 visitor when they enter the U.S. or may join the J-1 at a later date. Each dependent needs to have a dependent DS-2019 and a J-2 visa stamp (Canadian citizens do not need a visa) to enter the US in J-2 status.

  • Dependent accompanying J-1 on initial entry
    If J-2 dependents come to the US with the J-1 visitor when first starting his or her J-1 program, the J-2s’ DS-2019s must be requested along with the J-1’s initial DS-2019 request. Each J-2’s information must be provided in the UMN Department Request for DS-2019, which is submitted to ISSS by the J-1’s UMN hosting department.
  • Dependent joining the J-1 at a later date
    If J-2 dependents will join the J-1 visitor in the US after his or her J-1 program has already started, the J-1 should download and complete the J-2 Dependent DS-2019 Request form. Once completed, the J-1 will have to come to ISSS to submit the application and additional documentation as requested on the application, to a J-1 adviser in person.
  • The J-1 is required to show sufficient funding for him/herself and his/her dependent for the remaining time left in the J-1 program.

    Once the J-2 receives his/her Dependent DS-2019, s/he will need to apply for a J–2 visa stamp at a U.S. consulate outside the U.S.

J-2 Visa Application at US Embassy/Consulate:

The applicant should present:

  • All pages of the SEVIS Dependent DS-2019 – signed by the J-1 visa holder
  • Documentary evidence of funding resources reflected on the SEVIS Dependent DS-2019
  • Marriage license / birth certificate for children
  • Evidence of intent to return to home country upon the completion of the J-1’s program
  • Passport

Reentry to the U.S. for J-2 visa holders:

J-2 dependents that plan to temporarily depart the U.S. and reenter will need appropriate reentry documents. The J-1 visa holder will need to request the dependent travel document during ISSS Walk-In Hours.

  • J-2s will need a valid reentry signature on Page 1 of the Dependent DS-2019. If the information on the dependent DS-2019 is no longer accurate (i.e., program information, financial information), the J-1 visa holder must request a new DS-2019 for him/herself and the dependent(s) that provides correct information.
  • J-2s who plan to travel to Canada or Mexico for less than 30 days are not required to have a valid entry visa stamp in their passport for reentry into the U.S. but will need a reentry signature on their SEVIS Dependent DS-2019.
  • J-2s traveling to a country other than their home country should determine if they are required to have a tourist visa to enter that country.
  • J-2s reentering the U.S. must be prepared to present to U.S. Port of Entry evidence of the funding noted on the DS-2019 and an unofficial transcript if the J-1 is a student. This documentation is in addition to the passport, entry visa stamp and the dependent DS-2019.

Please Note: It is unclear how the status of a dependent visa holder is affected if the dependent remains in the U.S. when the principal visa holder is temporarily absent from the U.S. It is recommended that the J-2 not remain in the U.S., if the J-1 will be absent for more than 30 days.

J–2 Employment:

J–2 dependents must receive work permission from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in order to be employed in the U.S.

J-2 dependents are eligible to apply to DHS for employment authorization as long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1. J-2s may not begin employment until they receive a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the DHS.

If the J-2 is interested in applying for work permission, he or she may download the application for J-2 work permission . As explained in the instructions, the completed application is sent by the J-2 directly to a USCIS lockbox in Phoenix, Arizona. The application will be given to the appropriate USCIS office for approval. After USCIS receives J-2 work permission applications, it typically takes 2-3 months for J-2 dependents to receive their EAD (work authorization card) in the mail via the U.S. Postal Service.

Once the J-2 has received the EAD, he/she may apply for a Social Security Number. If the J-2 does not plan on working, he/she is not eligible for a Social Security Number.

Please Note: J-2 dependents may not "volunteer" in positions where others receive compensation to perform the same services.

Study in J-2 Status:

J-2s are allowed to be part-time or full-time students at U.S. colleges or universities. Children in J-2 status are able to attend public school in the U.S.