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Bringing a J-2 Dependent

Please note that in requesting to add a dependent spouse and/or minor child under the age of 21 to your J-1 SEVIS record, you are agreeing to have their status linked to yours and thus must accept the financial responsibility of supporting your dependent(s) and maintaining comprehensive health insurance coverage for your dependent(s) for the duration of your J-1 exchange visitor program. Further, as their status is linked to your status, their actions (e.g., inability to maintain status) may directly impact your status and future status as well.

Requesting a Dependent DS-2019 for the J-2 Visa Application

To request that a dependent spouse or child be added to your J-1 SEVIS record and a dependent DS-2019 be issued for the visa application process:

  • Complete the Dependent DS-2019 Request Form and a Financial Worksheet
  • Submit the following paperwork to the Office of International Education:
    • Completed Dependent DS-2019 Request Form
    • Proof of financial support until the end of your program. Acceptable proof includes:
      • Current personal/family bank statement or available balance page of your online account information;
      • Assistantship letter, scholarship letter, or fellowship letter; and/or
      • Notarized letter from a sponsor (relative or third party) and sponsor’s financial bank statement
    • Proof of your relationship to the dependent spouse and/or child under 21 years of age (e.g., marriage license, birth certificate). This will have to be presented at the consulate and deemed acceptable in order for the visa to be issued.
    • Photocopy of your dependent(s) passport
    • Your passport, visa, I-94, and I-20s; copies will be made at the Office of International Education
    • Proof of health insurance and medical evacuation and repatriation coverage (e.g., photocopy of insurance card or policy details)
      You must also obtain health insurance coverage for your dependent(s) for the duration of your F-1 student program. If it is not possible to obtain coverage prior to their arrival in the US, you must obtain coverage immediately after your dependent(s) arrival.
    • Enrollment Certification showing full-time status for every semester enrolled at ESF (available at the Registrar’s Office)

If you have been maintaining valid J-1 status and all of the requested supplemental documentation including adequate proof of financial support is provided, a J-2 dependent DS-2019 will be issued.

J-2 Status

A J-2 dependent's status is linked to the J-1 student's legal status and thus will have the same program end date. If the J-1 principal participant is subject to the 212(e) 2-year home country physical presence requirement, his or her J-2 dependent spouse and children are automatically subject to that requirement as well.

Dependents may travel independently of the J-1 primary or remain in the U.S. while the J-1 primary travels as long as J-1 primary’s absence is less than 5 months and everyone is maintaining valid J status. J-2 spouses and minor children may enroll in school at any level. J-2 dependents are eligible to apply to USCIS for employment authorization so long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1. The J-2 may begin employment only after receiving the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS.

Once a dependent obtains J-2 status, the Office of International Education will only terminate that status if credible evidence of one of the following is submitted:

  • Legal divorce (if the dependent is the student's spouse)
  • 21st birthday (if the dependent is the student's child)
  • Death
  • The dependent him or herself requests termination of his or her record and provides evidence of departure from the U.S. (e.g., home country entry stamp).

Dependent Resources

Additional Information


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