The USA J2 visa is a type of non-immigrant visa issued to family members of those who have a J1 visa. The conditions of J2 visa holders depend on the conditions of J1 visa holders.  In other words, since various institutions sponsor J1 visa holders, in some cases, sponsors do not allow J1 visa holders to bring their family members to the United States under the J2 visa. Also, people who apply for a J1 visa under the categories of au pair, camp counselor, secondary school student, and work and travel cannot bring their family members to the United States.

We have explained the Requirements, Application Process, and other details of the J1 visa in the other article. In this article, we will discuss the required documents and eligibility criteria for the J2 visa and other details, such as the application process, work permit, and more.

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US J2 Visa

What is a USA J2 visa?

The consular officer issues the J2 non-immigrant visa to the dependents of J1 exchange visitors. These dependents include:

  • Unmarried children under 21 years of age
  • Spouses

As you know, different categories are defined in the exchange visitor program. The relatives of those who apply for the following categories are not allowed to receive a J2 visa:

  • Au pair
  • Camp counselor
  • Secondary school student
  • Summer work travel

Any change in the status of the J1 visa will lead to a change in the J2 visa. Since various organizations sponsor J1 visa holders, bringing their dependents under the J2 visa is subject to the permission of that organization.

There is also no annual cap for J2 visa issuance. It means that eligible people can obtain this visa. The advantages of getting a J2 visa include the following:

  • Getting a driver’s license
  • Enrollment in academic programs
  • Opening a bank account
  • A work permit under certain conditions
  • Travel in and out of the US

What are the requirements of the US J2 visa?

Dependents of the J1 visa holders need approval by the sponsor or the program plan for accompaniment. The sponsor should approve the accompaniment of the dependents of the J1 visa holders.  Remember that only those who have a real and registered marriage can accompany the J1 visa holder on this journey. The partnership is not accepted.

The documents that the USA J2 visa applicants must provide are:

  • The online application form: DS-160
  • Confirmation or barcode of DS-160
  • A valid passport
  • One photo
  • Receipt of visa application fee
  • The confirmation letter of the interview appointment
  •  SEVIS pages and a copy of the DS-2019 form
  • A copy of the primary visa holder’s DS-2019
  • A copy of the J1 visa holder’s DS-2019 form
  • The J1 visa holders who intend to participate in an intern or trainee program must submit a copy of their DS-7002 form
  • Marriage certificate and documents confirming the genuine marriage:
    • Wedding albums
    • Invitation cards
    • List of wedding guests
    • Pictures with marriage witnesses
    • Children’s birth certificate
  • Evidence that you can support your expenses
  • Health insurance for J2 visa applicants

If by some chance you want to know how a doctor can move to the US, read this article. 

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How to apply for a USA J2 visa?

The application process for a US J2 visa is similar to that for a J-1 visa. The DS-2019 form is issued to each member of the family in their name. This form must be provided to the consular officer in an interview. The online application form must also be completed and $160 paid as an application fee.  All the documents mentioned in the previous section must be prepared, and you must schedule an interview appointment at the embassy.

What are the US J2 visa interview questions?

Participation in an interview is part of the pre-visa process. A consular officer interviews at the US Embassy.  The interview questions about the US J2 visa are related to the following:

  • Your intention to travel to the US
  • Your relationship with the J1 visa holder
  • Financial situation

During the interview, you must honestly answer the questions and prove that you do not intend to stay permanently in the US and return to your country.

An ink-free digital fingerprint scan will also be taken during the interview.

How much does it cost to obtain this visa?

Applicants for a J2 visa must pay $ 160 as a visa application fee.

How long does it take to assess documents and issue this visa?

The processing time for a J-2 visa varies depending on the case and the workload of the embassy. But on average, the processing time is around one month.

How can a J2 visa holder renew it?

If the J1 visa holders apply for a visa renewal, the J2 visa holders can also apply for an extension. If the renewal request is approved, a new DS-2019 form will be issued.

Are J2 visa holders subject to the two-year home residency requirement?

The two-year home residency requirement also applies to J2 visa holders. According to this requirement, J2 visa holders must return to their home country for two years after the visa has expired and before they can reapply.

If the J1 visa applicants submit a two-year waiver and the request is accepted, you as a J2 visa holder will be exempt from this requirement. In the following cases, a J2 visa holder can apply for a waiver of the two-year provision:

  • If the holder of the J1 visa has died, you must provide a death certificate.
  • If you divorce the J1 visa holder,  you must provide a valid divorce certificate.
  • If you are a child of a J1 visa holder and have reached the age of 21, you must present your birth certificate.

In addition to the mentioned documents, you must indicate why you want to apply for a two-year exemption.

Can J2 visa holders change their visa status?

Some J2 visa holders can change their visa status. If you do not have a two-year requirement, you can change the status of your visa. You can find a job position to qualify for other visas, including the H-1 visa. In this case, the employer must apply for Form I-129 to obtain a work permit.

Can J2 visa holders apply for a Green Card?

Holders of a J2 visa are eligible for a Green Card. If the J1 visa holder receives his Green Card, you, as his dependents, will also obtain the Green Card. The J2 visa holders can also apply for a Green Card based on employment and family reasons.

Can the J2 visa holders work in the US?

In most cases, J2 visa holders can work. To do this, they must first obtain an Employment Authorization Document from the US Obtain Citizenship and Immigration Services. Holders of a J2 visa can only work in the US.

Applicants for a J2 visa must apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) 3 to 4 months after arriving in the US.  This is because you demonstrate that you can cover your expenses in the first few months of your stay. If you apply for this certificate immediately after entering the US, your financial situation will be questioned. To obtain this certificate, you must provide the following documents:

  • Form I-765
  • Copies of DS-2019 forms, Forms I-94, and passports.
  • Two photos
  • The marriage certificate
  • You must provide reasons for requesting this certificate.

You must not mention the financial requirement in this statement.  When you get a visa, the J1 visa holder shows that there are enough financial means to cover the expenses. Reasons for applying for an Employment Authorization Document can be:

  • Travel
  • Recreation
  • Cultural goals

Note that income earned by J2 visa holders should not be spent on primary J1 visa holders. In this statement, you should mention the information related to the holder of the J1 visa, including the category, sponsor, stipend, etc.

If you find a job, you must provide a letter from the employer indicating that your income will not be spent on a J-1 visa holder.

Your certificate can be valid until the end of your stay in the US. By receiving this certificate, you can find a part-time or full-time job.

What are the limitations of a J2 visa?

The status of J2 visa holders depends on the status of J1 visa holders. Holders of a J2 visa can only work in the US.

How long can a J2 visa holder stay in the US?

Holders of a J2 visa can stay in the US as long as the primary visa holders remain in the US.

How can applicants for a J-2 visa obtain health insurance?

Sponsors in most exchange programs provide health insurance to the J1 visa holders. In some cases, they also offer health insurance for J-2 visa holders. But that is not necessarily the case. If the sponsor does not provide valid health insurance for the dependents, J1 visa holders must apply for the insurance.

Let’s sum up…

In this article, we have covered the details of the J2 visa application process, requirements, interview, and work permit. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other US visas as well as ways to immigrate to other countries. In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences in comments is a great help for applicants.


As long as the J1 visa holder can stay in the country.

The spouse and unmarried, minor children or a J1 visa holder.

Yes, but they need an Employment Authorization Document from the Department of Homeland Security

When the J1 visa holder gets the Green card, the J2 visa holder is qualified to get it as well.

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