Legal dependents (spouse and children) of international students or employees in F-1, J-1, TN or H-1B non-immigrant status may enter the US as F-2, J-2, TD or H-4 visa holders. Their stay in the US is completely dependent on that of the principal alien. If the J-1 exchange visitor withdraws from school or the H-1B holder leaves his or her employment at Dartmouth College and leaves the US, the J-2 or H-4 dependent must leave as well. If the F-1 student leaves the country for an extended vacation term, the F-2 must leave as well. Similarly, if the TN leaves the country, the TD must as well. The following information may help to clarify some of the liabilities and responsibilities associated with a dependent visa status.
Procedure for Bringing Family Members to the US as J-2 Status Holders
- In order to bring dependents to the US, the J-1 student must show evidence of financial resources sufficient to support their spouse and or children. As a rule, J-1 students must show a bank account with about US $5000.00 for a spouse and US $ 3500.00 for each child who will come to the U.S. If you have been in your program less than 9 months, we will ask you to submit a letter of support from your academic advisor. This letter should state that you are adjusting well to the academic workload, and that they have no concerns that bringing your family to the US might adversely affect your academic success.
- The procedure is as follows:
- Please download and print out the Request Form for a Dependent Travel Document . This form must be submitted to the Office of Visa and Immigration Services with all other required documentation.
- Make an appointment with the Office of Visa and Immigration Services, and bring: a recent (3 months old or less) US bank statement reflecting the necessary funds; the letter of support from your academic advisor; your current DS-2019, your passport and I-94 card (if you entered the U.S. by land) or electronic Form I-94 print-out (if you entered the U.S. by air or sea). You can access and print your electronic Form I-94 here.
- Within one to two weeks, we will issue a travel DS-2019 form for your spouse and or children to use to apply for an J-2 visa and enter the US.
- Please be advised that the State Department Officer at the US consulate where your family will apply for their visas will also require evidence of financial support. They may have different standards that you will have to meet. The figures listed above are requirements of Dartmouth College, not the State Department.
J-1 Scholars and Faculty
- In order to bring dependents to the US, the J-1 scholar / professor must show evidence of financial resources sufficient to support their spouse and or children. In general, your salary from Dartmouth will serve this purpose. If you are an unpaid researcher, you will need to show evidence of financial resources. As a rule, you will need to show a bank account with about US $5000.00 for your spouse and US $ 3500.00 for each child that you wish to bring to the US. We will issue a new copy or your DS-2019, for the purpose of dependent visa application and travel to the US.
- Spouses: F-2 dependent spouses are not allowed to participate in full time or part time study in a degree program, or in taking courses toward the completion of a degree program. J-2 dependent spouses may still engage in part-time or full-time study, however the Department of State is reviewing this regulation, and this will probably change sometime in 2003. A J-2 may accept financial support in exchange for work or an assistantship, but only after applying for and receiving an employment authorization card from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) (Please see below for work authorization application procedures for J-2's). If a dependent is accepted into a full-time program of study, the Office of Visa and Immigration Services strongly recommends applying for a change of status to an appropriate student visa such as F-1 or J-1.
- Children: F-2 and J-2 children may attend elementary and secondary school.
- Dependents in J-2 status may apply for employment authorization from CIS. The required forms and instructions can be obtained at the Office of Visa and Immigration Services. The authorization will need to be renewed by application each year, and the wages earned must not be used to support the J-1 principal in any way. The J-2 may not commence employment until he or she has received the employment authorization card from the CIS. This can take up to three months or more. Once the card is received, the J-2 must apply for a social security number. The Office of Visa and Immigration Services has social security card applications available.
Employment Regulations for J-2 Dependents
Dependents in J-2 status may apply for employment authorization from CIS. The required forms and instructions can be obtained at the Office of Visa and Immigration Services. The authorization will need to be renewed by application each year, and the wages earned must not be used to support the J-1 principal in any way. The J-2 may not commence employment until he or she has received the employment authorization card from the CIS. This can take up to three months or more. Once the card is received, the J-2 must apply for a social security number. The Office of Visa and Immigration Services has social security card applications available.
How to Apply for J-2 Employment Authorization
The dependents of J-1 Exchange Visitors who have entered the United States in J-2 visa status are eligible to apply to the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (CIS) for Employment Authorization by mail. There is NO personal or "walk-in" application procedure for J-2 Employment Authorization. ALL items listed below comprise a complete application for Employment Authorization
Please follow the step-by-step instructions below:
- Fill out Form I-765 - Application for employment authorization (available at the Office of Visa and Immigration Services, or online at: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-765.pdf
Although some answers to questions are obvious, we have found that the following questions are puzzling or should be answered in a particular way. You should enter the following information for these questions:
- Question 9- if you have a Social Security number please enter it here. If you DO NOT have a Social Security number, enter "NONE". You may apply for a SS# after you receive your work card.
- Question 10- the Alien registration number (A-number) is issued to those who have applied for Permanent Residence OR are renewing their Employment Authorization. If you have such a number, enter it here. If you do NOT have such a number, enter "NONE". You should enter your I-94 number instead (found on your I-94 card or your electronic Form I-94 print-out, which can be accessed here)
- Question 12- "Date of last entry" (meaning your MOST RECENT entry into the U.S.) will be found on your I-94 card or your passport Admission stamp if you entered the U.S. by air or sea.
- Question 14- Enter "J-2 Exchange Visitor dependent"
- Question 15- Enter "J-2 Exchange Visitor dependent"
- Question 16- Enter: "(C) (5) "--ignore the last set of parentheses
- Attach the Fee for processing form I-765. Personal checks are acceptable. Make the check payable to: "U.S. Department of Homeland Security".
- Enclose a photocopy of both the J-1's (principal foreign national's) Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (Form DS-2019), and the DS-2019 form belonging to the J-2 applicant. Also submit photocopies of both the J-1 and J-2’s passport photo pages, J-1 and J-2’s visa stamps (in passport) and the front and back of both I-94 cards (if you entered the U.S. by land) or both passport Admission stamps (if you entered by air or sea).
- Enclose 2 photographs. Effective September 1, 2004, these (2) photographs must be done in the “passport” style, facing the camera directly. Any other style (i.e. side facial view) will not be accepted! There are two local photograph shops on Main Street in Hanover who can take these photographs for you. Make sure that you get a small envelope with your photographs so that when you mail them, they do not get lost or damaged. Print your name LIGHTLY IN PENCIL on the back of each photograph. Staple the envelope containing the pictures on the front page of form I-765.
- Enclose photocopy of passport ID page (DO NOT send your Passport!). Include only the pages containing the expiration date of your passport and the photo.
- Enclose a cover letter stating something along the lines of the following:
“To whom it may concern: I am applying for employment authorization as a J-2 dependent. My husband (or wife) is currently in J-1 visa status as a student (or scholar) and has sufficient funds for his (or her) support. Any income from my employment will NOT be used to support the J-1. I will use this income for purposes of cultural enrichment and recreation.”
You may elaborate on what types of cultural or recreational activities you wish to pursue (although it is not required). Also add a statement that you have included the previously mentioned documents.
Note: If you have been previously issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), make sure that you make a photocopy of that document and include it with your application.
- Mail all documents by certified mail with a return receipt, or by express mail.
This is more expensive than regular mail, but it is your only way of being sure that they received your application.
(By regular US Mail, including US Priority Mail):
PO Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266
(By Express Mail or Courier Service, i.e UPS or Fed Ex):
Please note that you are NOT permitted to work until you receive your EAD work card. USCIS has stated that they expect to be able to process your work permit in approximately 60 to 90 days. You will need to bring a copy of the work card to the Office of Visa and Immigration Services for your file
2501 S. State Hwy. 121
Business Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067
If traveling outside and re-entering the U.S, the dependents need to ensure that they have valid passports appropriate, valid dependent visas, and the proper forms (F-2: I-20 form, J-2: DS-2019 form, and H-4: the I-797 H-1B Approval Notice). The I-20 form held by the dependent must have a travel signature on the form that is no older than 6 to 9 months or within a year on the DS-2019. The H-4 dependent should have the original Notice of Approval for the principle's H-1B status, Form I-797.
- If the principal and or dependents will be traveling to Canada, Mexico, or the adjacent islands (ie: Caribbean islands) for a visit of less than 30 days, and their visas have expired, they will be allowed to re-enter the U.S. using those expired visas due to a process called Automatic Revalidation. Please contact the Office of Visa and Immigration Services for more information on this.
- Your U.S. visa will not be valid to let you enter Canada. Citizens of certain countries are required to have a visa to enter Canada, while others are not. Please go to this website to determine if you need a Canadian visa to visit Canada:
Please visit the following website pages we have created to help international spouses and children adjust to the U.S., and the Dartmouth community. Please contact the Office of Visa and Immigration Services if you have any questions. We are eager to help!
Unfortunately, due to a staffing shortage, the Office of Visa and Immigration Services does not currently offer a formal dependent orientation program. Please explore the following links for more information that may prove helpful to your family once they arrive in the US.
Schools: Hanover, NH and Norwich, VT Public Schools
English as a Second Language Courses
Local Insurance Companies
Local Travel Agencies
Local Churches and Synagogues
Local Childcare Agencies