J-2 Dependent Information

This page is intended to provide general information to J-2 dependents at University of Texas at Arlington.

The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is "to increase mutual understanding" through "educational and cultural exchanges". Dependents of J-1 visa status holders can apply for J-2 visa status.

J-2 Dependent Information

Health insurance is mandatory requirement for J-1 students and their dependents. Failure to maintain adequate coverage as defined by the U.S. Department of State is grounds for termination of legal status.


It is not only unwise to be in the United States without adequate health insurance, it is a violation of J-1 status. Although in many countries the government bears the expense of health care for its citizens, individuals and families in the United States are responsible for these costs themselves. Since a single day of hospitalization and medical treatment can cost thousands of dollars, many hospitals and clinics refuse to treat uninsured patients except in life-threatening emergencies. A good medical insurance plan is the only protection against the enormous costs of health care in the USA.


The J-1 student is required to certify that he/she has the required levels of health, medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance for himself/herself and dependents. The U.S. Department of State defines adequate coverage as:


  • Coverage of at least $100,000 per accident/illness, with no more than a $500 deductible
  • Coverage of at least $25,000 for repatriation of remains in case of death;
  • Coverage of at least $50,000 for medical evacuation to the home country.

Dependents of J-1 Exchange Visitors who are in J-2 status may apply to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the work authorization. It will take approximately 3 months to receive the Employment Authorization Document(EAD). Work Authorization will be limited to one year ot the duration of stay as indicated on the DS-2019, whichever is shorter.


The J-2 dependent may work anywhere in the US, fulltime or part-time. The J-2 dependent may also attend school, either full or part-time. The primary conditions on J-2 employment are that the J-2 maintains legal J-2 status in the US and that money earned may not be used to support the J-1 Exchange Visitor. The EAD may be renewed, provided the same conditions apply.

  • J-2 dependent must be in valid status when submitting the application, and must maintain valid J-2 status while working. Maintaining status includes being covered by a specific type and level of health insurance.
  • Income earned my not be used to support the J-1 spouse or parent, since the J-1 exchange visitor is required to provide the full support of each of his or her J-2 dependents.
  • Work authorization is strictly limited to the dates specified on the EAD, and must end on the date indicated on the EAD or on the expiration of J-2 status, whichever occurs first.
  • You will need a Social Security Card in order to work in the US. You may apply for a Social Security Card only after you receive your work authorization.

Applicant brings the following to the Office of International Education:


  • Passport
  • I-94 card
  • DS-2019
  • I-94, Passport ID and Visa of J-1 exchange visitor
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • Check made out to USCIS for $410
  • A letter which describes the reasons why you want to work.
  • A copy of your marriage certificate
  • Two color photos taken within the last 30 days that conform to the following strict specifications:
    • Full frontal pose of the head and shoulders (passport style).
    • The head should be bare unless you are wearing a headdress as required by religious order to which you belong.
    • The background should be white, and photos should be unmounted and printed on thin paper with glossy finish and untouched.
    • The Photo should be 2”x2” (51 x 51 mm) with the head centered and sized between 1” and 1.4” (25 and 35 mm).
    • Please note that the USCIS instructions are very specific, and applications will be refused if the photos are not correct.