To Bring Your Spouse/Child at the Start of Your Program

Complete the dependent information when you apply to study at IIT or apply to join IIT as a J-1 student/scholar so that the dependents can be included on the original DS-2019. Additional funding is required for each dependent.  

To Bring Your Spouse/Child After You Have Arrived in the U.S.

The Office of Global Services (OGS) will issue separate DS-2019s for family members and you will receive an updated DS-2019 reflecting the addition of dependents and updated funding.

DS-2019 Request

Submit a "J-2 Dependent Request" within the ISSS Portal with the following supporting documents to OGS:

  1. Updated financial documents that are less than 6 months old.
    • Tuition and fees (new & continuing students only):  See current tuition rates and fees
    • Living Expenses:  $16,800/year or $1,400/month
    • Dependent Expenses: $5000/year or $417/month, for each dependent
  2. Copy of dependent’s passport biographical page (showing dependent’s legal name)

You must allow 7 business days for processing.

Gaining J-2 Status

Issuance of the DS-2019 for your dependent(s) does not give your dependent(s) J-2 status in the United States. There are two ways for your dependent(s) to obtain J-2 status. These include, (1) applying for a J-2 visa a U.S. Consulate abroad and (2) applying for a change of status to J-2 from within the United States.

Applying for a J-2 Visa a U.S. Consulate Abroad

If your dependent(s) are not in the United States, you must mail the new DS-2019(s), original financial documentation, and supporting documents to your dependent(s) abroad so that they may apply for J-2 visa(s) at a U.S. Consulate. Dependents do not need to pay the SEVIS Fee.

Mail the following to your dependent(s)

  • Original DS-2019 for each dependent
  • Original financial documentation
  • Copy of your Passport, J-1 visa, and I-94 card
  • Copy of your DS-2019
  • Copy of your SEVIS fee payment receipt
  • Copy of your academic transcripts from IIT or Academic Training job offer letter (students) or IIT Appointment Letter (J1 Scholars)

After your dependent(s) is approved for a J-2 visa, they may enter the United States in J-2 status using their DS-2019(s). They will receive stamps in their passports indicating “J-2” status and “D/S” for duration of status.  Before leaving port of entry they should make sure the stamp is in the passport correctly. Dependents are not required to check-in at OGS upon arrival.

Applying for Change of Status from Within the United States

Your dependent(s) may apply for a change of status from within the United States by submitting an application to the USCIS after obtaining a DS-2019 from OGS. To be eligible to apply for a change of status, your dependent must be in valid nonimmigrant status and the application for change of status must be received by the USCIS prior to the end date of your dependent(s) current nonimmigrant status. If your spouse is submitting the application for change of status, unmarried children under the age of 21 may be included in the application as long as the children are in the same status as your spouse, or are in derivative status of your spouse.

The following conditions render an individual ineligible to apply for a change of status

  • Holders of F, D, K and M status
  • Visitors with WT or WB status (Visa Waiver Program)
  • J-1 and J-2 nonimmigrants with a 2-year home residency requirement
  • Nonimmigrants who overstayed or violated their nonimmigrant status

Submit the Following Documents to The USCIS

  1. Completed I-539 form
  2. Check for $290 made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  3. Cover letter explaining the circumstances leading to the need for a change of status.
  4. Original DS-2019 issued to each dependent.
  5. Original financial documentation indicating availability of funds for principal J1 (tuition, cost of living etc) and dependent(s).
  6. Proof of relationship (e.g. marriage certificate, birth certificate, adoption certificate)
  7. Photocopy of dependent’s passport (biographic pages, current visa stamp, passport expiration date)
  8. Photocopies of documentation showing current nonimmigrant status.
  9. Photocopy of J-1 passport biographic pages, passport expiration date, J-1 visa stamp, I-94, and DS-2019 form.
  10. Dependent’s I-94

Make sure to review the instructions for the I-539 as information is subject to change without notification. Copy complete application and mail to USCIS. The mailing address for the USCIS is located in the instructions for the I-539

Health Insurance

J-1 participants and their accompanying dependents are required by law to carry health insurance  for the duration of the program.

At a minimum, insurance shall cover:

  1. Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per person per accident or illness
  2. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
  3. Expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000.
  4. Deductible that does not exceed $500 per accident or illness

Study in J-2 Status

Individuals in J-2 status are allowed to study full or part-time. Children in J-2 status may also attend public or private elementary, middle or high schools. If full-time study is desired it may be advantageous to change status to F-1 or J-1 student.

Employment in J-2 Status

Individuals in J-2 status are allowed to work in the United States. However, they must first obtain an Employment Authorization Document through the United States Citizenship and Immigration service. The application may only be submitted after the dependent has gained J-2 status.

Work authorization may be given up to one year at a time, or until your DS-2019 expiration date, whichever is earlier.  If you are applying for renewal of your employment authorization card, please attach a copy of your previous EAD card and follow the steps outlined under Procedures.

Once you receive your EAD you will be eligible to apply for the Social Security Card


  • J-2 is in valid status and has a valid DS-2019 form
  • Employment is not needed to support the J-1 visitor


Employment authorization is granted by USCIS.  Documents from OGS are not required.  Make sure to review the instructions on the I-765 to ensure you are submitting all required documents and the correct fees.  OGS is not responsible for reviewing or assisting with dependent work authorization applications.

  1. I-765 form, please write: (c) (5) in point 16.
  2. Check for $410 payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  3. photographs
  4. Copies of DS-2019 forms (yours and J-1 principal’s)
  5. Copies of passports, visas & I-94 (yours and J-1 principal’s)
  6. Personal letter requesting the work authorization and stating your reasons for doing so.

    Examples of reasons

    • Obtain professional experience
    • Experience the American way of life
    • To earn money for discretionary expenses

    The letter should include the statement that the income will not be used to support the J-1 visitor.

Mail your completed application to the address listed on the instructions for the I-765. You will mail the application to the USCIS depending on the address you indicate on the I-765.

In 2 to 4 weeks you will receive a notification  from USCIS confirming the receipt of your application. Once you know your case number listed in the upper left corner of the notification, you will be able to check the status of your application online.

The approval process takes anywhere from 60 to 120 days. You may begin to work only after you receive the EAD card (Employment Authorization Document).

Health Insurance Information