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International Student Services

J-2 Employment: Dependent Employment Authorization

How to Apply

If you are a J-2 dependent who wishes to apply for work authorization, you and the J-1 primary should make an appointment with an international student advisor to put together the application. The application is mailed to USCIS and takes approximately 60 to 90 days to be approved. You cannot work until you physically receive your work authorization card.

ISS cannot advise on any other type of work authorization application, including Asylee or Permanent Resident Employment Authorization applications. ISS advisors do not have the expertise or the purview to review these applications.

To apply, you should prepare the following materials:

  • A written statement from the J-2 dependent, with any supporting evidence (examples: Financial Guarantee/Proof of Funding, Proof of Health Insurance, etc), showing that your employment is not necessary to support the J-1 but is for other purposes (i.e. your earnings will not support the principal J-1). Here is an example letter that includes a helpful statement for requesting that the card be authorized to the end date on your DS-2019.
  • Complete Form I-765 [pdf]
  • Check for $410 made out to U.S. Department of Homeland Security. You can provide a personal check, cashier's check, or money order.
    • Applications postmarked (mailed) on or after Oct. 2, 2020, must include the new fee ($550) and the new form (10/2 version) or they will not be accepted.
    • Application postmarked on or before Oct. 1, 2020 should use the current version I-765 (8/25 version) and the current fee ($410).
    • For more information read:
  • Photocopies of the following documents (come with all photocopies prepared):
    • Photocopies of J-1 and J-2’s DS-2019s
    • Photocopies of passport photo page of J-1 and J-2 passports
    • Photocopies of J-1 and J-2 Visas
    • Photocopies of Entry Stamps in J-1 and J-2 passports
    • Printouts or photocopies of J-1 and J-2 I-94s
  • 2 passport-style photos

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