J-2 work authorization

In order for the spouse or child of a J-1 student to work in the United States, the following items must be collected, prepared and sent to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services by the dependent. These supporting documents must be submitted along with Form I-765 to request J-2 employment authorization.

  • Letter addressed to USCIS (sample) indicating why work authorization is being requested. The letter should clearly state that the money derived from employment will not be used to provide financial support for the J-1 student. Employment will not be authorized if the money is intended to support the J-1 student. Some reasons a spouse or child might apply for work could include:
    • Making additional money for travel in the U.S.
    • Gaining work experience
    • Making additional money for family cultural activities
    • Learning about the American way of life or business through work experience
  • Two photographs that meet Department of State specifications
  • Copy of the J-2 dependent’s current DS-2019
  • Copy of the J-1 student’s current DS-2019
  • Copies of both the J-1 student’s and J-2 applicant’s passport pages (only pages showing biographic information, passport number and expiration date need to be copied)
  • Copy of the J-1 student’s and J-2 applicant’s I-94 records
  • Form I-765
  • Personal check in the amount of $410 (made payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”)

If you want International Student and Scholar Services to review the application before it is sent, please make an appointment with an international student adviser.