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J-2 Dependent Employment

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. The J-2’s employment authorization is valid only while the J-1 is maintaining status.

To apply for an employment authorization document (EAD), or to renew a previously approved EAD, mail the following to USCIS:

  • Form I-765 (Instructions are included with the form and should be read carefully. In item 3, use an address that will not change as mail from USCIS will not be forwarded. In item 16, write: (C)(5). The J-2 applicant signs the form in black ink.)
  • Form I-765 filing fee paid by money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. If you pay by check, you must make your check payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • Letter explaining why work authorization is sought, written by J-2 applicant; the letter should state that employment is not necessary to support the J-1
  • Photocopies of the J-2’s and J-1’s current and prior DS-2019 forms
  • Two photos (Photos should be passport style: white background, unmounted glossy, unretouched, with a full face position, and taken no earlier than 30 days before submission to USCIS. Lightly print your on the back of each photo with pencil. Place the photos in a small plastic bag or envelope and staple to the I-765 form.)
  • Photocopy of the identification page in the J-2’s passport
  • Photocopy of the visa page in J-2’s passport
  • Photocopy of J-2’s I-94 card (front and back)
  • Photocopies of any EAD cards issued previously to the J-2
  • Photocopy of the J-2’s driver’s license or other photo identification, if available
  • Marriage certificate (if spouse of the J-1), or birth certificate (if child of the J-1); foreign-language documents should include an English tradition

Mailing Address

U.S. Postal Service Express Mail or a Courier Service
PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036
Attn: AOS

1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S.
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034