The J-2 visa is available to the spouse or dependents of a J-1 visa holder. The J-1 visa allows individuals to temporarily reside in the United States in order to participate in cultural exchange programs sponsored by schools, businesses, or other U.S. State Department authorized organizations.

Like other “family” or “dependent” visas, the status of the J-2 visa holder is entirely dependent upon the status of the principal J-1 visa holder. If that visa of the principal J-1 visa holder expires, and the participant has to return to his or her home country, then so do his or her dependents here on J-2 visas.

What Can I Do on a J-2 Visa?

A J-2 visa holder is allowed to work while in the United States, provided that they are not working to support the J-1 visa holder. However, in order to legally work while in the U.S. on a J-2 visa, the visa holder must apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service for permission to seek employment. Once this permission is granted, the visa-holder may work for any employer, either full time or part time. There is no legal limit to what they can earn.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Apply for a J-2 Visa?

If you or a loved one needs help with a visa application, you should contact an attorney. An experienced immigration lawyer can tell you the requirements of a J-2 visa and explain the process of obtaining one or any of the other visas that might be applicable to your situation.