Student Immigration Definitions
Obtaining J-1 Exchange Visitor
Student Category Status at Columbia
Transfer of J-1 Supervision
Change of Status to F-1
Potential Delays in Visa Issuance
Student Tax Information
Message for Canadian Students
Maintaining J-1 Status
Health Insurance Overview for J-1 Students
J-1 Travel Information
DHS Information on Arrival Problems
J-1 Extension of Stay (Current Program)
J-1 Extension of Stay to Begin New Program
J-1 Work Opportunities
Employment Authorization for J-2
J-1 Academic Training
J-1 Leave of Absence, Suspension or Withdrawal
Student Departure Information
Home Country Residency Requirement
Reduced Course Load Request
Address Change Form
Employment Authorization for Dependents in J-2 Status
Eligibility: Dependents of J-1 Exchange Visitors in J-2 visa status are eligible to apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for employment authorization. Bear in mind that J-2 dependents are NOT permitted to work or to receive a US Social Security Number until they have received an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card from the USCIS. Expect the processing time for the EAD to be at least two to three months.
How long may I work? J-2 dependents with employment authorization may work until the date on the EAD card. You may request employment authorization until the end date of the J-1's program as indicated in Box 3 "Form Covers Period: To" date on the J-1's DS-2019 form. J-2 dependents may apply to renew work authorization, as long as the J-1 visitor remains in status. If the J-1 receives an extension of stay, the J-2 dependent must re-apply for work authorization once the extension has been granted. We recommend that applications for extensions of the EAD be made at least 3 months in advance of the expiration date on the card.
May I still work if the status of the J-1 ends? If the J-1 visitor discontinues the program at Columbia or changes to another visa category, the work authorization for the J-2 dependent will be withdrawn. Legal work authorization for J-2 dependents is always dependent on the status of the J-1 principal.
How do I apply? A complete application must include all of the following:
If you would like to ensure your application and forms are complete, an ISSO adviser can review your application materials and answer any questions you may have. The review is optional. All applications must be filed at the USCIS Dallas or USCIS Phoenix Lockbox facilities. Students who list a mailing address on the I-765 in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania must send the completed application by courier service or CERTIFIED MAIL with a return receipt to:
Guide to Filling Out the I-765 Application for Employment Authorization
We strongly recommend that your I-765 be submitted in paper form. Submitting the I-765 as an online web-based form requires submission of biometrics after your application has been received by USCIS.
#3 Address. Provide a U.S. address where you are able to receive mail when the EAD card is issued (anywhere from 4-12 weeks). If you will be moving during this period, you might consider having your EAD card sent to you "care of" (C/O) a friend with a permanent address. The U.S. Postal Service will not forward the EAD card to a different address.
#9 Social Security Number. Persons in J-2 visa status are not eligible to apply for a social security number until AFTER work authorization has been approved. If this is your first time applying for work authorization, you will most likely not have a social security number. If you do not have a social security number, leave this field blank.
#10 Alien Registration Number. This will be the eleven-digit "departure" number on the I-94 card.
#14 Manner of Last Entry. The manner of last entry will be "J-2 dependent" unless you have filed to change immigration status since last entering the United States.
#15 Current Immigration Status. Current immigration status will be marked on your I-94 card. This should be "J-2."
#16 Eligibility. The eligibility category for J-2 dependents who are applying for work authorization is (c)(5). The response to Question 16 should appear as: ( c )( 5 )( ).
Make sure to sign and date the I-765 form at the bottom before you submit your application. Your signature will be scanned onto your employment authorization card.
Reviewed: 23 October 2014 Last modified: 23 October 2014