J-2 Employment

J-2 Dependents (Spouse and/or Children under the age of 21) of J-1 Exchange Visitors are eligible to petition for Employment Authorization to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. This permission is available only after the J-2 Dependent(s) has entered the US and has submitted the following documentation by mail to the Service Center which has jurisdiction over the area of US residence. 

Employment may not begin until USCIS approves the petition and the J-2 Dependent is issued the Employment Authorization Document (EAD card). The EAD Card authorizes the J-2 Dependent to work for any US employer in any job, full-time or part-time based on the validity period of the EAD Card and as long as the J-1 Principal is in valid status. The J-2 Employment Authorization may be renewed prior to the expiration date of the current EAD Card by filing a new J-2 Employment Authorization petition to USCIS following the same procedures as shown.

 Required Documents: (Keep copies of all documents sent to and received from US Citizenship and Immigration Services)

  • A check or money order for $380.00 petition fee made payable to US Department of Homeland Security
  • Form I-765, Application For Employment Authorization
  • Form G-1145, E-Notification for Application/Petition Acceptance

* Make sure all the forms and the petition fee is current by visiting: www.uscis.gov / FORMS

  • Letter of Request for J-2 Employment Authorization w/ estimated budget chart:
    • The request letter should clearly state that income received from employment will not financial support the J-1 principal.
    • The reasons for employment may be for the J-2 Dependent(s) cultural, recreational, and travel expenses, and/or any incidental expenses that were not part of the initial estimated cost of living in the US. (see samples)

- Using a pencil, lightly print the J-2 Dependent’s name and date of birth on the back of the photographs.

  • Photocopies of the following documents for both the J-2 Dependent and J-1 Principal:

- All DS-2019 forms, Passport Validity Page, I-94

  • FOR RENEWAL of  J-2 Employment Authorization:

- A copy of the previous employment authorization card (front and back)

J-2 Employment Authorization

  • Instructions for Completing the Form I-765:

  • Mailing Instructions:

  • Sample Request Letter

  • Example of Budget