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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
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Questions about J-2 Visa Requirements

What is a J-2 visa?

The J-1 classification is for exchange visitors. It is intended for people who will be a part of an approved program. This program could involve teaching, lecturing, studying, monitoring, researching, consulting, showcasing special skills, receiving medical training, or education. The spouse or children below 21 years of age of a J-1 visa holder come under the J-2 classification. These dependents can be of any nationality and are entitled for work authorization. However the income they earn should not be the sole means to support both themselves and the J-1 visa holder. In order to obtain a work authorization for a J-2 visa, you can file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization.

Below are some questions answered by immigration lawyers on the J-2 visa.

Can a J-2 dependent earn more than the J-1 principal visa holder? Is this allowed since J-2 is a dependent visa?

A J-2 dependent can earn more than the J-1 visa holder. This is often the case when the J-1 visa holder is a doctor pursuing his or her residency. The spouse may be in a different job and hence earning more money. Per the law, a J-2 holder is permitted to work and there is no limit on income. However the money should not be used to support the J-1 holder. J-1 visa holders need to support themselves.

Due to violation on J-2 visa term, I was refused an F-1 visa twice. After being granted the F-1 visa in my third attempt, what are the chances of being granted an employer-sponsored H1B visa?

Since the F-1 visa has been granted on the third attempt, it appears that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have moved on from the violation of term on the J-2 visa. Most likely the chances of a H-1B status change and visa stamping would be granted. The USCIS are concerned with the status maintenance as per your current visa. Also, it is always better to mention all details truthfully (including violations) on the visa application in order to avoid further complications.

Does a J-2 spouse require a work permit to work in the U.S.? What is the procedure?

A J-2 visa holder or dependent spouse is allowed to work in the U.S. To do so they are required to apply for a work/ employment authorization document (EAD). This document is the actual authorization, without which a J-2 spouse is not allowed to work. The process for the work permit is that Form I-765 needs to be filed along with the following documents of the principal (J-1 visa) and dependent (J-2 visa):
  • Copy of bio page of passport
  • Visas
  • Form DS-2019 of principal (J-1)
  • Form I-94
  • Marriage certificate
The process takes approximately 90 days. Forms and instructions are available in the below link. http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=73ddd59cb7a5d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=db029c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD

A J-2 visa holder, out of status and divorced from a J-1 principal, wants to marry a U.S. citizen. Is a waiver required?

A waiver is essential for a J-2 visa holder to adjust status even if it is based on marriage to a U.S. citizen. A J-2 visa holder cannot independently apply for a waiver but in some cases such as death or divorce from a J-1 visa holder or when a J-2 child turns 21 years of age, requests for waiver may be considered. This is done at the discretion of the Waiver Review Division (WRD) on a limited, case-by-case basis. If the J-2 dependent feels their case merits the attention of the WRD, they can follow the following procedure.
  • Complete Form 3035 online
  • Pay the applicable processing fee
  • Submit the following documents:
    • Birth certificate of in case the J-2 is a dependent child turning 21 years of age
    • DS-2019/ IAP-66 forms of J-1 visa holder
    • Divorce decree or death certificate (as applicable) of J-1 visa holder

Can a person on J-2 visa work for another country remotely (via the internet)? Is a work permit required? Can the same person apply for a work permit as a backup if they are fired from their overseas job?

You can work for another company as long as it is based outside the U.S. and you had the job prior to coming to the U.S. This implies that you have not taken away a job opportunity from a U.S. citizen. No work permit is required for this.

While applying for a work permit, the USCIS would require you to disclose all employment details. If they are aware you are employed and earning, it is unlikely they will grant a work authorization since it is essentially not needed. Hence the work permit cannot be applied for as a security measure in case you lose your job.

As one can see, a J-2 visa is a dependent visa and most actions concerning it are closely related to the J-1 visa, whether it is regarding work, waiver, or change of status. Even if a person is divorced from a J-1 visa holder, the formalities do not cease immediately. One should understand the different scenarios and may want to make use of the opportunity to work while on this visa.

Ask an Immigration Lawyer

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 35233
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
9200179
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
characters left:
5 Immigration Lawyers are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Immigration Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Immigration Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 30464
10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
Georgetown Lawyer
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10+ years of Immigration Experience in All Areas A-Z complex immigration cases & issues in all areas
Wilton A. Person
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Satisfied Customers: 3550
Knowledgeable and experienced immigration lawyer.

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