J-2 Dependents

BRINGING SPOUSE AND CHILDREN TO THE US FOR J-1 APPLICANTS WHO HAVE NOT APPLIED FOR THE J-1 VISA YET
For J-1 Applicants who are planning to come to the US for research, teaching, or training at Syracuse University, you may also bring your spouse and children to live with you in the United States during your program. Your spouse and children will apply for J-2 Visas as dependents of the J-1 Scholar.

To bring a spouse or children, a J-1 Applicant must show financial support for each dependent. In addition to the minimum of $14,400 of financial support needed to come as a J-1 Scholar/Professor, Intern, or Specialist, additional financial support of at least $6000 per year must be shown for each dependent (spouse and/or children). Funding must be arranged prior to issuance of a DS-2019 form. If your funds are from an international organization, independent grant, or government support, please attach a signed copy of any letters of award or sponsorship. If your source of funds are from personal or family funds, please submit an official bank statement not more than 6 months old.

In order to request J-2 DS-2019s for your dependents, please make sure to complete the J-2 Dependent information in the J-1 Scholar Application Packet.

INVITING SPOUSE AND CHILDREN TO THE US FOR J-1 SCHOLARS ALREADY AT SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
For J-1 Scholars who are currently in the United States, you may invite your spouse and children to join you for your stay during your J program.

To bring a spouse or children, a J-1 Applicant must show financial support for each dependent. In addition to the minimum of $14,400 of financial support needed to come as a J-1 Scholar/Professor, Intern, or Specialist, additional financial support of at least $6000 per year must be shown for each dependent (spouse and/or children). Funding must be arranged prior to issuance of a DS-2019 form. If your funds are from an international organization, independent grant, or government support, please attach a signed copy of any letters of award or sponsorship. If your source of funds are from personal or family funds, please submit an official bank statement not more than 6 months old.

In order to invite your spouse and/or children to come to the US on a J-2 visa, please fill out the J-2 Scholar Dependent Form (link to J-2 Scholar Dependent Form)

J-2 HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
The United States Information Agency (USIA) requires all participants of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program to have medical insurance that covers the exchange visitor and all accompanying family members for the entire period of stay in the United States.

The health insurance plan must cover all participants for accidents, sickness, medical evacuation and repatriation. In regulations set forth by USIA on March 19, 1993, the following insurance coverage levels were established in 22 CFR 514.14.

Health Insurance for all J-1 and J-2 Visa holders must include:

  • medical benefits of at least $50,000 per person per accident or illness
  • repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500
  • expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $10,000
  • does not have a deductible that exceeds $500 per accident or illness

To comply with the regulation, the Slutzker Center for International Services must receive a copy of the medical insurance card or policy showing validity dates and coverage terms.

For full-time, paid Syracuse University employees ONLY

  • J-1 Scholar Researcher/Professors who are paid by Syracuse University and are full-time employees are eligible for health insurance through SU and may include their dependent family members (spouse and children) on their insurance policy.
  • Call the Syracuse University Human Resources/Skytop Offices to find out about your health insurance benefits (315-443-4042). Please note that if your family will join you after your employment begins at Syracuse University, you may have to wait until the open enrollment period in October before you can add your family to your health insurance policy.
  • The health insurance offered through SU meets the minimum requirements listed by the Department of State for medical benefits and for the deductible, but the insurance does not provide coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. If you receive health insurance as a benefit to your employment at SU, you will need a supplemental insurance policy that covers you for Medical Evacuation and Repatriation (Applications can be obtained at the Slutzker Center; plan cost is $26.50 per year per person).


For ALL OTHER J-1 Scholars/Professors, Specialists, and Interns utilizing personal or government funds who do not receive payment or health insurance from Syracuse University:

  • Any J-1 Scholar whose funding is from personal funds or a source other than SU will need to purchase a health insurance plan which will meet the minimum federal requirements for the Exchange Visitor J-visa program.
  • J-1 Scholars should plan to purchase the insurance upon arrival for both themselves and any J-2 dependents.
  • A Slutzker Center advisor can provide you with information on health insurance plan options that meet the minimum federal requirements.

J-2 DEPENDENT EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION
J-2 dependents are eligible to apply to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for employment authorization, so long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1. Financial need is not a criterion for employment authorization of a J-2 dependent.

“Income from the spouse’s or dependent’s employment may be used to support the family’s customary recreational and cultural activities and related travel, among other things. Employment will not be authorized if this income is needed to support the J-1 principal alien.” 8 C.F.R. S 214.2(j)(1)(v)(A)

Application Procedure - Applications for employment authorization are made to the USCIS Service Center with jurisdiction over the J-2’s place of residence. Processing generally takes 3 months.

J-2 Dependents who wish to apply for Employment Authorization should submit the following to USCIS:

  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization - available at http://www.uscis.gov/i-765
  • I-765 filing fee (currently - $410.00): Check or money order payable to Department of Homeland Security.
    IMPORTANT: You must check the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/i-765 to be sure of the current, correct filing fee; USCIS filing fees are subject to sudden change.
  • 2 passport style photos (Available through many pharmacies and at the Copy Center in the Marshall Square Mall)
  • Copies of the current DS-2019 of both the J-1 and J-2 • Copy of passport information page, visa page, and I-94 (back and front) for both J-1 and J-2
  • Letter from J-2 stating why the employment is desired, indicating the source and amount of financial support for the J-1, and specifically stating that the income that the J-2 will derive from employment will not be used for the support of the J-1 exchange visitor.


J-2 DEPENDENTS AND STUDY
The spouse and/or children of an exchange visitor visa holder who are in the U.S. on an exchange visitor visa may study in the U.S. without being required to apply for a student (F-1) visa or change to F-1 status.