J-2 dependents are eligible to apply to the United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) for employment authorization as long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1. J-2s may begin employment after receiving an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the USCIS.

To obtain the EAD, J-2s will first need to submit an application to the USCIS. The following items need to be included in the application:

Mail the application to the USCIS Phoenix Lockbox:

If mailing via U.S. Postal Service use:


P.O. Box 21281

Phoenix, AZ 85036

If mailing via FedEx, UPS, or any other non-U.S. Postal Service company, use:


Attn: AOS

1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S, Suite 100

Phoenix, AZ 85034

Length and Type of Employment:

If permission for employment is granted, the J-2 is eligible to work in any type of full-time or part-time employment for the period of time listed on the EAD. Generally, the USCIS will use the coverage period end date of the J-1 (listed in box #3 of the DS-2019) as the employment end date for the EAD. If the J-1 extends their program end date, J-2s will need to submit another application (along with a new fee) to USCIS to be authorized to work past their current EAD end date. The J-1’s extension must be approved prior to a J-2 submitting a new employment authorization application to the USCIS. If the J-2’s current EAD expires before the new EAD card arrives, employment must be stopped. Employment is only authorized for the dates listed on the EAD.


J-2s are subject to social security taxes, federal income taxes, and where applicable, state income taxes.