Skip to main content

Visas for Spouses and Children

Dependents (husband/wife, and/or unmarried children under the age of 21) of the J-1 Exchange Visitor fall into the J-2 visa category.

Required Documentation

Before J-2 dependents will join the J-1 EV, in the US, you must submit the J-2 Dependent Request Form so that each J-2 can receive a DS-2019 from the International Office.

J-2 Visa Specifics

  • Health Insurance: All J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents must maintain health insurance coverage that meets specific requirements. Learn more about these requirements and Northwestern's Visiting Scholar Health Insurance option.
  • Study: J-2 dependents are eligible for full or part-time study. If a J-2 spouse wishes to enroll in a full-time, degree-seeking program at NU or any other post-secondary institution,  he or she must a change visa status to that of a F-1 or J-1 student.
  • Employment: J-2 dependents are eligible for full or part-time employment with prior approval from USCIS. See our J-2 Employment Authorization Guide for information on how J-2 dependents can apply for authorization, which includes filing form I-765 with USCIS and receiving the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card.

In addition, all J-1 visa regulations which apply to the J-1 EV, also apply to the J-2 dependent including the 24-month bar and the 212 (e) home residency requirements.