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International Student Services

J-2 Employment: Dependent Employment Authorization

How to Apply

J-2 Dependents who wish to apply for work authorization can do so by filing an I-765 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

ISS recommends the following materials as a general suggestion for your J-2 I-765 application:
  • 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 made out to U.S. Department of Homeland Security. You can provide a personal check, cashier's check, or money order. Please check the filing fee here.
  • Photocopies of the following documents:
    • 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
    • Printouts or photocopies of J-1 and J-2 I-94s
  • 2 passport-style photos
Submitting your Application to USCIS:

The processing time for an I-765 application is typically ~3 months. You can find the direct filing address for a J-2 work authorization application on the USCIS website (navigate to "Foreign Students" and then to the "(c)(5)" category).


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