After they arrive in the US, dependents in J-2 status may request employment authorization from US 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.

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

  • Form I-765. In item 3, use an address that will not change. If you move, the Post Office will not forward mail from USCIS. In item 16, write: (C) (5). The J-2 applicant signs the form in blue ink.
  • $410 check or money order payable to “US Department of Homeland Security.”
  • Letter requesting work authorization, describing why the applicant wants to work and stating that income from the J-2’s employment is not needed to support the J-1
  • Photocopies of the J-2’s and J-1’s current and any prior DS-2019 forms. Be sure that all the DS-2019s have been signed in the “Exchange Visitor Certification” section at the bottom of the form.
  • Two photos (see photo specifications, below). Place the photos in a small plastic bag or envelope and staple to the I-765 form.
  • Photocopy of the identity page in the J-2’s passport
  • Photocopy of the visa page in the J-2’s passport
  • Photocopy of the 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 ID, 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 translation.
Photo specifications

Two photos with a white background taken no earlier than 30 days before submission to USCIS. They should be unmounted, glossy, and unretouched. The photos should be “passport” style, with a full frontal face position. Lightly print your name on the back of each photo with a pencil.

Mailing addresses:

If you live in Washington State, mail the application to:

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) delivery

PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036

For express mail and courier service delivery

Attn: AOS
1820 E Skyharbor Circle S, Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034