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Employment authorization for J-2 Dependents

After they arrive in the U.S., dependents in J-2 status may request employment authorization from 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 12 months, and may be renewed annually.

To apply for an EAD, or to renew a previously-approved EAD, mail the following to USCIS

  • Form I-765. In item 3, use an address that will not change. Note: If you move, the post office will not forward mail from USCIS.
    • In item 16, write: (C)(5).
    • J-2 applicant signs the form in blue ink.
  • $410 check or money order payable to “U.S. 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
  • 2 passport-style photos. Place the photos in a small plastic bag or envelope and staple to the I-765 form.
  • Photocopies of the following:
    • 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.
    • Identity page in the J-2’s passport
    • Visa page in the J-2’s passport
    • J-2’s I-94 card (front and back)
    • Any EAD cards issued previously to the J-2
    • 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.

Mailing Addresses

Please see USCIS’s Direct Filing Addresses page for mailing addresses; J-2 information appears under the “Foreign Students” dropdown.