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J-2 Dependent Request


Scholars currently in J-1 status who wish to add their legally married spouse and/or unmarried minor children (under 21 years old) as J-2 dependent status will need to obtain a Form DS-2019 for each dependent.  All other relatives who wish to come to the U.S. to visit should apply for B-2 (visitor for pleasure) visas or the Visa Waiver Program, if eligible. J-1 Exchange Visitors with the UCSD University Extension program will require written approval from the department in order to submit this request.  

Application process

Typically, J-2 DS-2019’s are requested with the Initial and Extension Application for the primary scholar. However, there are instances where a J-2 DS-2019 may need to be requested after the J-1 DS-2019 issuance.

Please have the scholar view the Request for J-2 DS-2019 on iServices webguide for complete instructions.

Financial support information

You must show that you have enough money to support your family. Attach a copy of your evidence of financial support (i.e. bank statement, funding letter, etc). 

The minimum requirements are:

Accompanying J-2 spouse: $800/month additional

Accompanying J-2 child: $400/month additional per child

*Exception: Postdoctoral appointment letter is sufficient proof to meet these requirements for title codes 3252, 3253, and 3254. No additional funding is required.

Dependents can be a spouse and/or unmarried children under age 21.

Applying for a visa

The dependent takes the new Form DS-2019 and the evidence of financial support to a U.S. consulate or embassy to apply for a J-2 visa.  The U.S. embassy or consulate will not issue a visa unless it is satisfied that the dependents have a residence in a foreign country which they have no intention of abandoning.


J-2 dependents may study in the U.S., full- or part-time.  Dependents should weigh the benefits of changing their status to F-1 versus remaining in J-2.  To receive compensation for services rendered, such as a teaching assistantship, a J-2 student must have an EAD card.

Change of status

Dependents currently inside the U.S. on a different immigration status must contact IFSO after the Form DS-2019 has been issued to review the change of status procedure with an advisor.  Please note that a Form I-539 for change of status must be submitted to USCIS prior to the end date of the current immigration status. This process may take up to 4 months for approval.

Visit USCIS to download the I-539 application