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J-2 Visa - Frequently Asked Questions


How do I obtain Employment Authorization on J-2 visa?

While on J-2 visa, you may apply to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) for J2 visa Employment Authorization. When granted, this permission is valid for on and off-campus work and may be full or part-time. This permission is obtained by mailing certain documents to the BCIS. It may take 90 days or more for the application to be approved. When approval is granted, you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card. You must have the EAD card before you begin work.

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What are the requirements for work permission on J-2 visa?

To apply for work authorization on J-2 visa, you:

  • Must hold valid J-2 status, and the Exchange Visitor must hold valid J-1 status, as shown on your Form I-94 Departure Record cards
  • May not use your income to support your J-1 spouse or parent
  • May begin working only after you receive your Employment Authorization document from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS). The EAD is an identification card laminated in plastic, with your photograph, signature, and the expiration date of your permission to work
  • May work part-time or full-time, at any job, for any employer. There is no limit to the amount you may earn

Note: The BCIS can authorize J-2 employment for as long as the J-1 Exchange Visitor has permission to stay or for four years (one at a time), whichever is shorter. Permission to stay expires on the date shown on Form DS-2019 Request Form for Exchange Visitor.


Can I study on J-2 visa?

Yes, you may study on J-2 visa. There is no requirement that the spouse and/or children of a J-1 visa holder apply for a student visa if they wish to study in the U.S.

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