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:
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.
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: