J-2 Dependents (Spouse and/or Children under the age of 21) of J-1 Exchange Visitors are eligible to petition for Employment Authorization to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. This permission is available only after the J-2 Dependent(s) has entered the US and has submitted the following documentation by mail to the Service Center which has jurisdiction over the area of US residence. 

Employment may not begin until USCIS approves the petition and the J-2 Dependent is issued the Employment Authorization Document (EAD card). The EAD Card authorizes the J-2 Dependent to work for any US employer in any job, full-time or part-time based on the validity period of the EAD Card and as long as the J-1 Principal is in valid status. The J-2 Employment Authorization may be renewed prior to the expiration date of the current EAD Card by filing a new J-2 Employment Authorization petition to USCIS following the same procedures as shown. 

Required Documents: (Keep copies of all documents sent to and received from US Citizenship and Immigration Services)

  • A check or money order for $410.00 petition fee made payable to US Department of Homeland Security
  • Form I-765, Application For Employment Authorization
  • Form G-1145, E-Notification for Application/Petition Acceptance

* Make sure all the forms and the petition fee is current by visiting: www.uscis.gov / FORMS

  • Letter of Request for J-2 Employment Authorization w/ estimated budget chart:
    • The request letter should clearly state that income received from employment will not financial support the J-1 principal.
    • The reasons for employment may be for the J-2 Dependent(s) cultural, recreational, and travel expenses, and/or any incidental expenses that were not part of the initial estimated cost of living in the US. (see samples)

- Using a pencil, lightly print the J-2 Dependent’s name and date of birth on the back of the photographs.

  • Photocopies of the following documents for both the J-2 Dependent and J-1 Principal:

- All DS-2019 forms, Passport Validity Page, I-94

  • FOR RENEWAL of  J-2 Employment Authorization:

- A copy of the previous employment authorization card (front and back)

J-2 Employment Authorization

- Use Blue Ink to complete the form and for signature
- Applicants requesting for initial J-2 Employment Request should check the “Permission to accept employment” box
- Names should appear the same as on the Passport Validity Page
- Address listed on the Form I-765 will be the mailing address used by USCIS to mail the receipt notice and EAD Card
- Question #9 –  The Social Security Number is only issued once you receive the EAD Card. Initial Applicants who do 
                                 not have a Social Security Number can enter “N/A” for Not Applicable.
- Question #10 – Initial Applicants should use the I-94 Number, the 11 digit number found on the white card 
                                  inside the passport. The Alien Registration Number or “A Number” is issued on the EAD Card. This  
                                  number may be used for J-2 Employment Authorization renewals.
- Question #11- Required only if you have applied for and approved for a previous Employment Authorization
- Questions #12 and 13: Enter the most recent date of entry into the US and location (see the I-94 card)
- Questions #14 and #15: You may enter: J-2 Dependent
- Question #16: The code for J-2 Employment Eligibility is: ( C ) ( 5 ) ( - )
- Question #17:  This question does not apply to the J-2 status. You may skip this question.

Photograph Requirements:

  • - Frame subject with full face, front view, eyes open
  •  - Make sure photo presents full head from top of hair to bottom of chin; height of head should measure 1 inch to 1-3/8 inches (25 mm to 35 mm)
  • Center head within frame (see Figure to the right).
  • - Make sure eye height is between 1-1/8 inches to 1-3/8 inches (28 mm and 35 mm) from bottom of photo.
  • - Photograph subject against a plain white or off-white background.
  • Position subject and lighting so that there are no distracting shadows on the face or background
  • - Encourage subject to have a natural expression.

The J-2 Employment Authorization Application is to be mailed to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services for review: USCIS Phoenix Lockbox

For US Postal Service (USPS) deliveries*
*OISS Recommends to file with Certified Mail w/Return
Receipt request if mailing using this option.

For Express mail and courier deliveries

PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036

Attn: AOS
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

E-Notification: If you want to receive an e-mail and/or a text message that your Form I-765 has been accepted at a USCIS Lockbox facility, complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance and clip it to the first page of your application.
Processing times varies according to the petition type at the designated USCIS Service Center. Applicants residing in California are required to file the J-2 Employment Authorization petition to the California Service Center: https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/ 
You may check the status of your J-2 Employment Authorization petition by using the receipt number found on the Form I-797C Receipt Notice of Action. The receipt number can be entered on USCIS website at: https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do

(Please amend to reflect your personal situation)

Today's Date

To Whom It May Concern,

I am a J-2 Dependent and I am applying for permission for employment authorization. My spouse/parent is a J-1 Exchange Visitor at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Although there will be sufficient funding for my spouse/parent’s expenses, our total funds will not be sufficient to cover additional expenses for my stay (as well as additional members of my family) in the US.

I wish to seek employment and earn income that would be used for cultural, recreational, and travel opportunities as well as any additional cost of living expenses for myself and any members of my family who are J-2 Dependents. Attached is an estimated budget for our estimated expenses during our stay in the US.

My earnings will in no way be used to support my spouse/parent who is the J-1 Principal.




Your Name

(May be Monthly or Annual Cost of Living Expenses)
(Expenses categories varies according to personal use/needs)

















Education Fees
(e.g. Tuition, Books, Supplies)




Living Expenses
(e.g. utility bills – gas/electric, television/internet)




Vehicle Expenses
(e.g. fuel, maintenance, auto insurance)




Health Insurance




Miscellaneous Expenses
(e.g. recreational/travel )












Current Income