J-2 dependents are eligible to apply for employment authorization, provided they are in legal status and the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1 principal. Before beginning any employment, the J-2 dependent must apply for and receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The processing time for J-2 employment authorization is usually 2-3 months.
If employment authorization is granted and the EAD issued, it will be valid for any type of full-time or part-time employment for the period indicated on the EAD. EADs are usually issued for one year, or until the end date of the J-1’s program, whichever is less. J-2 employment authorization is valid only if both the J-2 and J-1 are maintaining legal status in the United States.
You must submit the following:
- Completed form I-765 and a check or money order for $380, payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”. In item 16 on the form, the appropriate code is (c)(5).
- 2 photos (passport size);
- A brief letter requesting employment authorization and indicating that the income from the work will not be used to support the J-1 principal;
- Photocopies of the passport identification page and any additional pages that extend or modify the identification page information;
- Photocopies of your current forms DS 2019, I-94, and current EAD, if applicable;