Passport & Consular Services

Can I Bring My Dependents on a J-1 Visa?

Yes, as a J-1 visa holder, you are generally allowed to bring your dependents with you to the United States. Dependents are defined as your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. They can accompany you on a J-2 visa, which is specifically designated for dependents of J-1 visa holders.

Here are some key points to know about bringing dependents on a J-1 visa:

DS-2019 Form: As the J-1 visa holder, you will need to obtain a separate DS-2019 form for each dependent you wish to bring. Your J-1 program sponsor is responsible for issuing the DS-2019 forms for both you and your dependents.

J-2 Visa Application: Each dependent will need to apply for a J-2 visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. The application process typically involves submitting the DS-2019 form, a valid passport, a visa application fee, and any additional required documentation.

Work Authorization for Dependents: Dependents in J-2 status have the opportunity to apply for work authorization, known as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), in order to legally work in the United States. The EAD allows them to seek employment opportunities, but it is important to note that the income from their work should not be relied upon to support the J-1 visa holder’s program or stay in the United States.

Duration of Stay: Dependents in J-2 status can generally stay in the United States for the same duration as the J-1 visa holder, as specified on the DS-2019 form. However, if the J-1 visa holder’s program is extended, the dependents’ status can also be extended.

Health Insurance: It is mandatory for J-2 dependents to have health insurance coverage during their stay in the United States. The insurance requirements are similar to those for J-1 visa holders, and it is important to ensure that adequate health insurance coverage is maintained for all family members.

It’s crucial to consult with your J-1 program sponsor for specific guidance and requirements regarding bringing dependents on a J-1 visa. They will provide you with the necessary information and assistance in obtaining the DS-2019 forms for your dependents and guide you through the application process for J-2 visas.

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