J-2 Employment Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long may I work?

J-2 dependents with employment authorization may work until the date on the EAD card or until the J-1 principal visitor completes his or her program, whichever is earlier. J-2 dependents may apply to renew work authorization,as long as the J-1 visitor remains in status. If the J-1 receives an extension of stay, the J-2 dependent must re-apply for work authorization once the extension has been granted.

2. May I still work if the status of the J-1 ends?

If the J-1 visitor discontinues their program at Northwestern University or changes to another visa category, the work authorization for the J-2 dependent will be made invalid. Legal work authorization for J-2 dependents is always dependent on the status of the J-1 principal.

3. When should I renew my employment authorization document (EAD)?

It is recommended that you renew your EAD at least three months in advance of the expiration date of your current EAD due to the processing time at USCIS. If you are applying for a renewal of your EAD, you cannot work beyond the previously authorized date until you receive a new EAD. To prevent a gap in your employment, it is recommended that you apply as early as you can for the renewal of your EAD.

4. What is the process for renewal of my EAD?

J-2 dependents may apply to renew work authorization, as long as the J-1 visitor remains in status. If the J-1 receives an extension of stay, the J-2 dependent must re-apply for work authorization once the extension has been granted. The J-2 should follow the same process of application as they did for their initial application.

5. Can I work full-time?

Yes, J-2's who have a valid EAD can work full-time or part-time.

6. Where can I work?

Not limited.

7. Do I have to pay taxes?

Yes, J-2's are subject to social security taxes, federal income taxes and, where applicable, state and local income taxes. It is advised that you consult with a qualified tax consultant.

8. Do I need a social security number?

Yes, anyone who earns wages in the United States must have a social security number for taxpayer identification purposes. J-2's are not eligible to apply for a social security number until they have received their EAD.