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J-2: Family of the J-1

If a J-1 exchange visitor has a spouse and/or unmarried children under 21, those family members are eligible to come to the U.S. as J-2 dependents. Each J-2 dependent must have a Form DS-2019. ISO issues DS-2019s for all dependents listed on the initial J Visa Request form.

Note: Although dependents usually enter the U.S. as J-2s, they are not required to do so. They may enter in other visa classifications for which they qualify, such as F-1, J-1, B-2 or H-1B. (Other family members, including partners not legally married to the J-1, are not eligible for J-2 status but may apply for B-2 visas.) However, ISO cannot provide information about non-UW -sponsored visas.

How to Request a Separate Family DS-2019

Step 1: Gather Supporting Information and Documents

Have the scholar provide a scan of the dependent’s passport biographic page and any new documentation of funding.

Step 2: ISO Issues DS-2019(s)

Use the information on the scholar’s most recent visa request and the documents gathered above to complete the Add J-2 Dependent Request and submit it. You will receive a confirmation email. ISO will then issue a new DS-2019(s) for the J-2 dependent(s).

Step 3: Send DS-2019 on to Exchange Visitor

Provide the signed DS-2019(s), with attachments, by one of the following methods:

  • Send the original DS-2019 and attachments to the J-1 exchange visitor in hard copy.
  • Send the exchange visitor the scan of the DS-2019 issued by ISO, with attachments, via email or another file-sharing method.

Please note that UW is forbidden by law from sending DS-2019s by scan or fax to third parties except the exchange visitor, their dependents, the Department of Homeland Security, or the Department of State.

Step 4: J-2 Dependent Applies for Visa at Consulate and Enters U.S. (approximately 2-8 weeks from application to consulate)

More information is available on the J-1 visa pages for international scholars. The J-2 dependent may enter at any time during the sponsorship dates listed on the DS-2019. There is no check-in or SEVIS validation requirement for J-2 dependents.

Dependents currently in the U.S. in another nonimmigrant status who seek to change status to J-2 must complete Form I-539 and file it with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in accordance with the form’s instructions.


See Fees page for more details.

Employment Authorization

Employment is not permitted for persons in J-2 status unless they have a valid Employment Authorization Card. More information is located on the Employment Authorization for J-2 Dependents page. There is no restriction on study for persons in J-2 status.