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Washington State University
International On Campus

Bringing Dependents on a J Visa

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

How to Apply for a J-2 Visa

If you are a J-1 student 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.


Submit the following documents to WSU Office of International Programs:

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 shown at the bottom of the annual List of Estimated Expenses.

Send documents to:

Office of International Programs
International Student and Scholar Services
Washington State University
Bryan Hall 206
Pullman, WA 99164-5110

Phone: 509-335-4508


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.


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
  • Visa support letter from International Student and Scholar Services (optional)

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 in Pullman, have them check in at International Student and Scholar Services and provide a copy of each dependent’s immigration documents and proof of insurance.

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

If you are a J-1 student, your 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 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 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.

If you are on Academic Training, your J-2 dependents should carry a copy of your Academic Training authorization letter in addition to their own immigration documents.

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. Anyone who holds a J-category visa is required to return to the home country for at least 2 years at the end of your exchange visitor program.

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, ask International Programs to write a letter of support for their B-2 visa application.

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

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