Bringing Dependents on a J Scholar Visa

If you hold a J-1 nonimmigrant visa and your program sponsor is not WSU, please contact your program sponsor directly to inquire about bringing dependents. If WSU is your sponsor, follow the steps below.

The process

1. Submit documents

Submit the following documents to WSU International Programs through myPassport.

  • Copy of passport for each dependent
  • Financial documentation (e.g., bank statement, letter from employer or sponsor, etc.)

Whether you decide to bring your family members with you at the time of your initial entry or later, you are required to show evidence of adequate financial support for each dependent. The additional amount of financial support you must show for each J-2 dependent varies by WSU location and is listed below in U.S. dollars.

LocationJ-2 SpouseJ-2 ChildAdditional J-2 Child
Tri-Cities and Prosser$1,200$1,300$600
Mt. Vernon$1,200$1,400$700

2. WSU actions

WSU will add your dependent(s) to your SEVIS record. Then we will issue a new DS-2019 to you and each of your accompanying dependents.

3. Documents for dependents

Provide your dependents with the following documents for visa application.

  • Your dependents’ J-2 Form DS-2019 (original)
  • Your new DS-2019 (copy)
  • Your passport biographical page (copy)
  • Your J-1 visa stamp (copy)
  • Your I-94 card (copy of front and back sides)
  • Financial documentation (e.g., bank statement, proof of graduate assistantship, letter from employer or sponsor)
  • Your letter of invitation

4. Dependent responsibilities

Your dependents should contact their local U.S. Embassy/Consular Office and follow the procedures for the J-2 visa application.

Check in with ISSS upon arrival

When your dependents arrive at your WSU location, have them check in with International Student and Scholar Services and provide a copy of each dependent’s immigration documents and proof of insurance. Check-in documents are submitted through myPassport.

Medical insurance is required

J-1 scholars and their J-2 family members are required to be covered by medical insurance while in active J-2 status.

Rights and restrictions while in the United States

While they are in the United States, your dependents will need to abide by certain rules regarding employment and academic study.

Taking classes

Your J-2 dependents are allowed to pursue part-time or full-time studies.


J-2 dependents may work part-time or full-time in the United States only with a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS. However, a J-2 dependent’s employment cannot be used to support the J-1 student.

Lawful J-2 dependents may apply for an EAD by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with UCSIS. An EAD can be issued for up to 1 year at a time or for the validity of DS-2019, whichever is shorter. It is possible to apply to extend an EAD.

Social Security

J-2 dependents with a valid EAD may apply for a Social Security number.

Volunteer work

J-2 dependents may volunteer if their volunteer activities do not displace a paid position.

International travel

As long as J-1 students maintain lawful status, their dependents are allowed to travel in and out of country by themselves with proper documentation. J-2 dependents do need a valid travel signature from an A/RO in International Student and Scholar Services.

Two-year home country physical presence requirement

A J-2 dependent is subject to the same foreign residence requirement as the J-1 visa holder.

If you are granted a waiver of the foreign residence requirement, it will also apply to your J-2 dependents.

Family visits

If you have family members who would like to visit the U.S. for a short visit they should contact their local U.S. Embassy or Consular Officer to apply for a B-2 visa.

Leaving the country

Your J-2 dependents should accompany you outside the U.S. if you will be abroad for more than 1 month.