The J-2 visa makes it possible for spouses or unmarried children to accompany a J-1 visa holder.
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What is J2 Visa
The J-2 visa is a U.S non-immigrant visa that is for Dependents who are Spouses or unmarried children who are under 21 years old, they can join a J-1 visa holder with the J-2 visa. J-2 visa holders are dependent on the status of the J-1 person, so any changes to the J-1 status will result in changes to the J-2 status too.
J-2 Visa Requirements
for you to be able to apply for the J2 visa, there are some requirements to qualify and be eligible for a J-2 visa are as follows:
- You are to be a spouse of an approved J-1 visa holder
- Be an unmarried child under 21 years old of an approved J-1 visa holder
- Be permitted to accompany the J-1 visa holder from their sponsor or any program
J-2 Visa Application
The J-2 visa application is not done differently from the J-1 visa application. If the J-1 sponsor gives you the right to bring dependents, they will give them a separate DS-2019 form with their form. The J-2 application procedure is as follows:
- Apply online by filling the DS-160 form
- Pay the visa application fee of $160
- Schedule an interview appointment and get the confirmation letter
- Submit these documents:
- Your passport
- Your DS-160 form barcode
- Your interview confirmation letter
- A US visa style photograph
- All SEVIS pages and a copy of your DS-2019 form
- A copy of the J-1 visa holder’s DS-2019 form
- If the J-1 visa holder is working as an intern or trainee, you will also have to submit a copy of their DS-7002 form.
- Marriage certificate to show that you are married to the J-1 visa holder
- Wedding album and invitation cards
- Wedding guest list
- If married at the registrar, the copy of the affidavit, and pictures with wedding witnesses
- Birth certificates of children
- Proof of financial resources to that you have enough funds to cover expenses
- Attend an interview where you will have J-2 visa interview questions related to your intentions in the U.S, and the relationship you have with the J-1 visa holder, and your financial situation.
- You must have health insurance to qualify for getting the J-2 visa.
If your application and interview go well, the U.S Embassy where you have applied will grant you a J-2 visa. The visa will allow you to depart for the U.S at the same time or after the J-1 visa holder. However, you cannot leave for the U.S before the person who has the J-1 visa.
J-2 Visa Processing Time
The processing time for a J-2 visa is quite different. As U.S Embassies have various cases, so your visa might take more time or less time to process.
But, a general time frame for how long it takes to process the J-2 visa is about 30 days or 1 month. therefore from the time you submit your application to the U.S Embassy, you can get a response if you got the J-2 visa or not in 30 days time.
J-2 Visa Validity
Because you are a dependent of the J-1 visa holder, the validity of your J-2 visa is joined to theirs. This implies that your J-2 visa is valid as long as the J-1 visa is valid too. If your spouse has a J-1 visa that is valid for 2 years, your J-2 visa will be valid for the same 2 years.
If the J-1 visa holder applies for a visa extension and is approved, you are also eligible to apply for an extension. When your extension is approved, you will get a new DS-2019 form.
One important thing that J-2 visa holders are allowed to do while in the country is to get a job in the U.S. They can do that by applying for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). They can get the EAD only when they are in the U.S. already.
It is advisable that you apply for the EAD three to four months after you have come to the U.S. This is because you have shown the U.S government that you have enough financial resources to take care of your expenses in the first few months in the U.S. If you apply immediately for an EAD, then you will bring questions about your financial situation.
To apply for the EAD, you need to submit these documents:
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
- Copies of yours and the J-1 holder’s DS-2019 forms, Forms I-94, and passports
- 2 photographs
- Your marriage certificate
- A statement showing why you want to get the EAD
If you have already gotten a job, submit a letter from your employer confirming it and also you are using your salary to support the J-1 visa holder.
You can request your EAD be valid until the end of your stay in the U.S by writing the date of expiration found in your DS-2019 form in the EAD statement.
If you are granted the EAD, you can participate in any part or full-time work in the U.S. If your EAD expires before your DS-2019 expiration date, you can apply for an extension. As a person who has a job, you are also required to get a Social Security Number (SSN) and are obliged to file taxes as per U.S laws.