Responsibilities expanding section

J-1 Scholars planning to bring their spouse and/or children with them to UWL will need to submit additional documentation in order for IEE to create a dependent DS-2019 form. This form is necessary for the dependent to obtain a J-2 visa.

All J-2 dependents are required to maintain UWL’s International Student/Scholar health insurance. Failure to secure and/or maintain health insurance for both J-1 and J-2 visa holders will result in termination of the J-1 program participant (if the J-1 is terminated, the J-2 dependents are also terminated).

Eligibility:

The spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of the J-1 Exchange Visitor are eligible for J-2 dependent status.

Process to become a J-2 dependent:

Any dependent the J-1 scholar is planning on bring to UWL will need to be added to the scholar’s SEVIS record. Before the dependent can be added, the scholar must submit the following documentation (per dependent):

  1. J-2 Dependent Application form
  2. Financial documentation
  3. Scanned copy of passport photo identity page
  4. Verification of relationship (birth certificate, marriage license – translated into English)

Once a dependent is added to the scholar’s SEVIS record, a separate DS-2019 form will be created for the dependent. The dependent will use this form to apply for a J-2 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. 

Study:

J-2 children are permitted to enroll in elementary and/or secondary schools while in the U.S. Dependents wishing to pursue a degree at a post-secondary institution, are only allowed to study part-time. However, study that is avocational or recreational can be pursued full-time.

Grace Period:

As long as the J-1 has maintained status, a 30 day grace period is provided at the end of the scholar’s program (refer to coverage end date in box #3 on DS-2019) for both the J-1 and J-2s. The grace period is only in effect as long as the Js remain in the U.S. It is used to travel around the U.S. and/or preparing to return home. Employment is not permitted during the grace period. The grace period cannot be extended. 

Finances expanding section

Funding Requirements: Minimum* funding requirements for dependents:

  • Spouse - $600.00/month
  • Child - $500.00/month per child

 *The minimum funding does not include airfare, healthcare costs not covered by insurance, school tuition/fees, travel/transportation within the U.S., clothing, etc. The scholar is advised to prepare additional money to cover unexpected expenses that may occur while in the U.S.

 J-1 applicant must provide documentation of financial resources to cover all dependents as outlined above. Acceptable financial documents are as follows:

  1. Signed Letter of Appointment including salary information if scholar will be paid through UWL
  2. Bank Statement in Scholar’s Name
    1. Most recent 3 months in English of recent bank statements (per account) on bank letterhead signed by bank official
    2. Must demonstrate that funds would be readily available to meet scholar’s expenses plus that of any dependents and are easily accessible to the scholar
  3. Bank Statements in Sponsor’s Name and Letter of Support
    1. Most recent 3 months in English of recent bank statements (per account) on bank letterhead
    2. Sponsor must write a letter explaining relation to J-1 Scholar and declaring support for J-1 while s/he is participating in a J program in the U.S.
  4. Scholarship from a Government
    1. IEE must receive a clear copy of the formal award letter from the government
    2. Letter should clearly state stipend/salary and any covered expenses, including living expenses, health insurance, etc.
    3. Must be dated within 3 months
    4. Must indicate that J-1 will be participating in an Exchange Program at UWL
  5. Funding from Scholar’s Home University
    1. Letter from the institution stating amount and terms of stipend/salary on university letterhead and signed by a University Official indicating that scholar will be participating in an Exchange Program at UWL
Health insurance expanding section

J-2 Dependents are eligible for health insurance coverage. You can enroll the J-2 dependent in coverage through your Wellfleet account, https://wellfleetstudent.com/

Learn more about insurance.

Please contact Miranda Panzer, if you have any additional questions. 

Employment expanding section

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:

USCIS

P.O. Box 21281

Phoenix, AZ 85036

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

USCIS

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.

Taxes:

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

Travel expanding section

J-2s will need to obtain a travel signature if they plan on departing/returning to the U.S. Dependents travelling separately from J-1s, should carry copies of the J-1s most recent immigration documents.