J-2 visa holders are eligible to apply for work permission if the following requirements are met:
- The J-1 visa holder maintains his/her status in the United States.
- The money earned by the J-2 must not be used to support the J-1 visa holder.
This employment authorization allows the J-2 to work for any employer for any number of hours as long as the employment authorization document (EAD) is valid and as long as J-2 status is maintained. If the EAD is expiring and the J-1 spouse/parent has maintained his/her J-1 status, then an extension of work permission can be requested.
Applying for Work Permission
The J-2 should write a cover letter to accompany the application for employment authorization. This letter should explain why work permission is being sought [examples: earn money for school or travel, further own professional career, etc.] and outline the family's financial resources to clearly demonstrate that all expenses for the J-1 are met without the help of the J-2. This cover letter should also list all items included in the petition. For help, please see the sample letter.
- Cover letter from the J-2 requesting work permission
- Financial statement showing funds for the entire family's expenses
- Form I-765 [Reason for eligibility: (c)(5)]
- Photocopy of your J-2 DS-2019 Form and your spouse or parent's J-1 DS-2019 Form
- Photocopy of Form I-94 for the J-1 (available at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home)
- Photocopy of Form I-94 for the J-2 (available at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home)
- Copy of marriage certificate for spouses with different last names
- Two immigration-style photographs
- check or money order payable to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security"
Please keep a photocopy of the entire application package, including your check, for your records. Send the application via Certified Mail from the post office to:
USCIS Dallas Lockbox
PO Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266
Upon approval, USCIS will send the EAD to the address indicated on the Form I-765. After receiving the EAD, the J-2 must apply for a Social Security number.