Dependent and Spouse Employment

Depending on his or her visa status, an international spouse of an international student, visitor, or employee may be able to seek employment.

Eligible for employment

Spouses in the following visa categories may be employed after receiving the appropriate authorization.

  • J-2 dependents (spouses of J-1 students and exchange visitors) are eligible for full- or part-time employment. J-2 dependents must file form I-765 with USCIS and receive the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card before beginning employment. Visit the Apply for J-2 Dependent Employment webpage for application instructions.
  • E-3 dependents (spouses of E-3 employees) are eligible for full or part time employment with an Employment Authorization Document Card (EAD). E-3 dependents must complete the form I-765 for E-3 dependent employment authorization.

Ineligible for employment

Spouses in the following visa categories may not be employed or engage in business under any circumstances.

  • F-2 dependents (spouses of F-1 students)
  • H-4 dependents (spouses of H-1B employees)
  • TD dependents (spouses of TN employees)