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J-2 Visa - Frequently Asked Questions


Can I apply for a Green Card while on J-2 visa?

Yes, you may apply for an immigrant status in the U.S. if you qualify for any of the following options and if you are not subject to the 2 year home residency requirment:

  • Family Based Immigration: If you have close relatives who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, the relatives may file an immigration petition for you as the beneficiary
  • Employment Based Immigration(Labor Certification): You may find an employer who is willing to file a Labor Cert ificate for you with the DOL
  • EB-1: You may also file an immigration petition based on the classification of 'Alien of Extraordinary Ability' - EB-1(A) or 'Outstanding Professor/Researcher' - EB-1(B).
  • National Interest Waiver: You may also file an immigration petition through a National Interest Waiver (NIW). National Interest Waivers are available to foreign nationals who are seeking work in a profession and who have an advanced degree (or equivalent experience) or can prove themselves as ‘aliens of exceptional ability’.

Note: If you are subject to the home residency requirement you must get a waiver before applying for immigrant status.

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Are there any restrictions on the education of J-2 children?

A J-2 child who attends school in the U.S. while in derivative status must either depart the U.S. at the conclusion of the principal J-1 applicant's legal stay, or change status while in the U.S. to F-1.


I am visiting the U.S. on a J-2 visa. Why are FICA Retirement and FICA Med being deducted from my paycheck?

  • Nonresident foreign national
  • Present in the U.S. under an F, J, M, or Q visa
  • Performing services in accordance with the primary purpose of the visa's issuance. The spouse and children dependents of the primary visa holder (normally holding an F-2, J-2, M-2, or Q-2 visa) are not eligible for the section 3121(b)(19) exemption because the purpose for their visit to the U.S. is to accompany the primary visa holder, not to work
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