If you are seeking to go the United States under the J-1 Visa Program and you have a spouse and/or children, it’s important that you know how the J-2 Visa works and how it can help bring your family along with you during the duration of your program. The J-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa that is issued at an official U.S. embassy or consulate for the exchange visitors which accompany the J-1 holder in the United States. However, the eligibility of the J-2 Visa depends on what type of exchange program is being offered to the J-1 participant by the host company. The categories of exchange that are not allowed are camp counselor, a secondary school student, summer work travel, or employed for housework or childcare. You also have to make sure that you check which program you are signing up for, because there are specific programs that do not allow for spouses and/or dependents to accompany the J-1 participant.
Here at Architect-US we have had many candidates that have needed to issue the J-2 Visa for their spouse! So it is an option that is available for you!
The application procedure is the same as for the J-1 Visa applicant. The J-1 Visa holder must approve of the spouse and/or children that will accompany him/her and each issue the form DS-2019. This is the certificate of eligibility for exchange visitor (J-1) status, a form that we can provide.
The J-2 Visa holder can stay in the United States as long as the J-1 Visa holder has a valid J-1 status. So, any changes in the status of the J-1 Visa, will also have to be made for the J-2 Visa.
If you are a prospective J-2 Visa holder, you should know that you are only able to apply for a work permit after your arrival to the United States. So make sure that you take that into consideration as well. You must obtain employment authorization from the Department of Homeland Security. Additionally, the salary earned by the J-2 cannot be used as a means to support the J-1 Visa holder.