J-2 Dependents

Office of Global Engagement

Your spouse and children can accompany you to the U.S. under the J-2 Dependent visa status. Dependents of J-1 Exchange Visa holders are defined as immediate family - a spouse or unmarried child/children under the age of 21. Non-immediate family members do not qualify for a J-2 visa status and must enter the U.S. under their own non-immigrant status, usually as B-2 non-immigrant visitors.

You must show evidence of adequate financial support for each one of your dependents; the U.S. Federal Government requires J-2 visa holders to purchase and maintain health insurance coverage.

In order to be considered for a J-2 Dependent Visa your dependents must first acquire Form DS-2019. Please follow the application process below:

1. DS-2019 acquisition process

  • Application for Form DS-2019
  • Financial Support Documentation
  • J-2 visa holders are not required to pay the SEVIS fee

2. J-2 Visa acquisition process

  • Once a new Form DS-2019 is received, the dependent must schedule an appointment with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate office to apply for the J-2 visa, as soon as possible. To locate the Embassy/Consulate near you click here. Embassies and Consulates review a vast number of applications and you may have to wait for an appointment. To learn more about wait and processing times please visit www.travel.state.gov
  • Dependent should contact your local U.S. Embassy/Consulate and follow their procedure for J-2 visa application process.
  • To prepare for your visa interview, learn as much as you can about the forms and documents required of you please click here. Be prepared to convince the consul that you will return to your home country after completing your study course. Place large emphasis on your personal, family and economic ties with your home country, show undeniable reasons why you will return home:
    • present copies of property ownership
    • business ownership by you or your family
    • if you have traveled to the U.S. before emphasize that you have returned home
    • if your siblings have studied in the U.S. and have returned home show copies of their diplomas, etc.
The dependent must bring with them:
  • Their own original Form DS-2019 (J-2)
  • A copy of your Form DS-2019 (J-1)
  • Copy of your passport with biographical page, if dependents are listed in it
  • A copy of your J-1 visa stamp (if available)
  • Financial Documentation (bank statements, proof of scholarship/assistantship,
  • Letter of admission from Stockton University)

3. At The Embassy

  • A “consul” makes a decision to grant or deny a visa. The Consul’s job is to make sure that persons who are issued visas will return home after completion of studies. As a person wishing to enter the U.S. you will be viewed as someone wishing to remain in the U.S. permanently therefore your job as an interviewee is to convince the Consul that you will return home after completing your study course. The Consul is required by law to say: “You are not coming back home when you finish your studies!” Do not become offended and make sure, to the best of your ability, to convince the Consul that you will indeed return home after completion of your study course. The Consul’s job is to administer the law so DO NOT try to neither negotiate with the Consul nor discuss personal matters.
  • Keep in mind that the NUMBER ONE REASON that visas are denied is due to the fact that applicants are unable to prove that they will return home after the completion of studies. Therefore do not put emphasis on your ties with the U.S. relatives or friends, emphasizing instead your strong commitments and ties to your home country, family and resources.
  • Once the J-2 Dependents visa has been acquired and your dependent has arrived in the United States, they are required to check in with the Office of Global Engagement and provide a copy of each dependent’s immigration documents as well as proof of insurance.  

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