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Important Documents for the J-2 Visa Dependents
Important Documents for the J-2 Visa Dependents

The J-2 Visa

Important Documents

Important Documents

The DS-2019 Form

The DS-2019 Form is a U.S. Government document that permits you to apply for a J-2 Visa at the U.S. Embassy in your home country.

The DS-2019 Form:

  • Serves as proof of sponsorship for your J-2 Visa.
  • Identifies InterExchange as your program sponsor.
  • Describes the purpose of the program, which is intended for the J-1 holder to intern in the U.S., while you accompany them as a dependent spouse or a child (under 21 years of age).
  • States the time period that you are legally permitted to remain in the U.S.
    Printed copies of this form are required for your embassy interview and your entry into the U.S.
  • The J-2 Visa is a sticker that is added to your passport by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country.
  • The J-2 Visa allows you to enter the U.S. when you present it with your printed DS-2019 Form at U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) upon arrival.
  • You cannot obtain a J-2 Visa stamp within the U.S.; it must be obtained in your home country. It is generally valid for one, two, or multiple entries into the U.S.
  • The J-2 Visa has an expiration date, which may or may not be the same as the date on your DS-2019 Form.
  • The I-94 record is your U.S. Arrival/Departure record. If you are coming to the U.S. by air or sea, your arrival will be recorded electronically by CBP.
  • You can access and print your electronic arrival record I-94 record. You will keep this printed copy with other important documents like your DS-2019 Form and J-2 Visa.
  • Visitors coming to the U.S. through a land border (most common with Canadian or Mexican participants) will receive a paper I-94 record from the CBP officer upon entering the U.S. If you do receive a paper I-94, you will be required to surrender the I-94 when leaving the U.S. so that your departure can be recorded properly.
  • J-2 participants are eligible to work in the United States, but they must first apply through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for work authorization.
  • To qualify for employment authorization, you will be asked to prove that the job you are doing is not intended to support the J-1 holder. Instructions are available on the USCIS website.
  • If your Employment Authorization is approved, you may then apply for a Social Security Number, which is a unique nine-digit number that your U.S. employer will need in order to put you on their payroll.
  • Should you enter the U.S. on a future work or study program, your Social Security number would remain valid, so please keep your number and card in a safe place.
  • PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL ID AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION: Your Social Security number is yours alone. Do not allow others to use your number. Record your number in a safe place in case your card is lost or stolen. Protect both your card and your number to prevent misuse.
  • Review our instructions on applying for a Social Security Number.

NOTE: You are not eligible for a Social Security number unless you first apply for employment authorization. If you already have a social security number, you may not work in the U.S. on a J-2 Visa without first applying for employment authorization.