J-2 Dependents


  • Who May be a J-2: Legally married spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age.
  • Who May Not Be A J-2: Parents, siblings, fiances, boyfriends/girlfriends are not eligible for J-2 status.
  • 212e Home Residency Requirement: Prospective J-2 dependents who have not fulfilled the 212(e) two year foreign residency requirement, may only apply for J-2 status abroad.
  • Financial Certification Requirements: J-1s must be able to demonstrate financial certification that meets minimum financial requirements ($2210/month for the J-1, plus $625/month for spouse, plus $350 per month per child).

Requesting a DS-2019

If the J-2 will arrive after the J-1 program start date, please submit the following documents to your Human Resource representative:

  1. Passport
  2. Proof of funding in English, that meets minimum funding requirements

Your Human Resource representative will electronically submit the request to your ISSO advisor. If the electronically submitted  request is complete, ISSO will email the J-1 scholar within 10 business days to pick-up the J-2 DS-2019(s) in the ISSO Office.

To Facilitate the Process of Applying for a J-2 Visa

Upon receipt of the DS-2019, the J-2 dependent applies for their visa. The J-2 will need to submit a copy J-1 DS-2019 form, the J-1 SEVIS fee receipt, J-1 appointment letter from UCSF and proof of funding (only if UCSF will not be funding the J-1 program). Please find detailed instructions on applying for the J-2 visa here.

To Facilitate the Process of Applying for a B-1 Visa

1. Write a letter of invitation
Include the purpose of the visit, your relationship to the individual, a statement of your status here and the length of time they will be visiting (usually less than three months). If the individual has a job to which they plan to return, it is good to mention it. If you plan to provide for their support while they are here, include that information as well.  You may use this TEMPLATE to construct your letter.

2. Obtain a Letter of Verification
Graduate students can request a letter from their department explaining that they are in good standing and that you intend to return to your home country at the end of your studies.

Scholars can request a letter from the departmental staff person who assists visiting scholars, which indicates that you are a scholar in good standing in the department, your reason for being here, that you wish to return to your home country at the end of your research or teaching, and, if applicable, the amount of funding being provided by the department.

3. Financial support
If you are not being paid a salary by the university, request a financial statement from your bank that shows you have sufficient funding to support yourself and your family members during their visit.

Providing your family members with all of the above papers may improve their chances of obtaining a visa. However, there is no guarantee a visa will be issued. The success of your family's request for a visa lies in their ability to prove that they have no intention of staying permanently in the U.S.

Maintaining J-2 Legal Status

J-2 Email Address: J-1s must report J-2 email addresses to ISSO. If the J-2 email address changes, the J-1 is required to notify ISSO within 10 business days. This is a regulatory requirement.

Mandatory Insurance Requirement: J-2s are required to hold adequate insurance coverage that meets the U.S. Department of State requirements for the entire program duration. Failure to maintain federal insurance requirements can result in program termination for both the J-1 and J-2 exchange visitors. J-1 and J-2 exchange visitors may also be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Limitations for J-2 Children: J-2 children must be unmarried and under 21 years of age. It is the scholar's responsibility to notify ISSO if the J-2 no longer meets the regulatory requirements.

Employment: J-2s must apply for and receive approval for employment through the USCIS prior to working. Otherwise, it will be considered unlawful employment.

Cancellation or Completion of J-2 Program: If J-2 dependents decide not to come to the U.S., if the J-2 leaves the U.S. and will not return for the duration of the J-1 program, or if the J-2 becomes divorced from the J-1, ISSO must be notified immediately. It it the J-1's responsibility to notify ISSO, as we are required by law to cancel the J-2 SEVIS record.

J-2 Departure Reporting Requirement

J-1 Exchange Visitors are required by the US State Department to report the departure of their J-2 dependents if they will leave the US permanently before the end of their spouse's or parents J-1 program.  You may report the the departure of J-2 spouse or child online at https://ucsf.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_82kSmzuPU8yVuAZ

Apply for Work Authorization as a J-2 Dependent

Please see our page on J-2 Work authorization for more information on this topic.