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Washington State University
International On Campus

Bringing Dependents on a J 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.

How to Apply for a J-2 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.

1

Submit the following documents to WSU Office of International Programs through mypassport:

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

Whether you decide to bring your family members with you at the time of your initial entry or at a later time, 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 is:

  • US$900 per month for spouse
  • US$500 per month for first chlld
  • US$400 per month for all additional children
2

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

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 side)
  • Financial documentation (e.g., bank statement, proof of graduate assistantship, letter from employer or sponsor)
  • Your letter of invitation
4

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

Check in with WSU 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.

Employment

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 scholar.

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 scholars 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 would like to invite your parents or other immediate family members for a short visit in the United States, you can write a letter of support for their B-2 visa application. International Programs does not write support letters for inviting family to visit.

Your family member(s) should contact their local U.S. Embassy/Consular office and follow the procedures for B-2 visa application.

Leaving the Country

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

Leaving the country

You should not depart the United States for more than 1 month when you have dependents present in the United States.