Authorized activities

As a J-1 professor, researcher or short-term scholar, you are only eligible to engage in the educational activities outlined in your DS-2019. Employment is both job-specific and site-specific as stated on the DS-2019. A change in location (department) is not permitted without prior approval from International Student and Scholar Services.

Social Security card

You must wait two full weeks from your date of entry into the United States before applying for a Social Security card. See the information about Social Security cards for application details and required documents.

Occasional off-campus consultations and lectures

The Department of State allows for occasional lectures and consultations that are incidental to you main objective. Compensation is allowed only if the required procedures and criteria are satisfied. You may not receive funds from a U.S. source other than what is stated on your DS-2019 without first obtaining approval from International Student and Scholar Services prior to the work being performed.


The occasional lectures or short-term consultations must:

  • Be directly related to the objectives of the program.
  • Be incidental to the major objective.
  • Not delay the completion of the program.

Required documents

The following documents should be presented to an international scholar adviser for authorization of off-campus compensation before the work is performed.

  • Letter from the inviter that specifies the terms and conditions of the offer to lecture or consult, including the duration of participation, number of hours anticipated, field or subject area, amount of compensation and description of the activity.
  • Letter from the MU head of department or major supervisor recommending the activity with an explanation of how the activity will enhance the scholar’s program.

If the off-campus consultation or lecture is approved, International Student and Scholar Services will provide an authorization letter.

J-2 work authorization

In order for the spouse or child of a J-1 scholar 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 scholar. Employment will not be authorized if the money is intended to support the J-1 scholar. 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 scholar’s current DS-2019
  • Copies of both the J-1 scholar’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 scholar’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 scholar adviser.