J-2 Employment Authorization

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Update

USCIS has recently updated the I-765. USCIS will continue to accept the previous version until 09/17/2018. BIO is currently working to evaluate the new I-765 and will provide detailed instructions soon.

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J-2 EAD guide coverpageJ-2 work permits are obtained from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) through an application process that takes an average of 3 months to process. Employment may not begin until the J-2 has received the work permit, called the Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

The EAD allows the J-2 dependent to work in any job, full-time or part-time.  Employment cannot extend beyond the end date on the EAD. Extensions of the EAD are possible, up to the end date on the DS-2019. Please note that the extension process also takes an average of 3 months, so plan ahead if employment needs to be continuous (without any gaps between work authorization periods).

International travel is not recommended while the J-2 EAD application is pending at USCIS.  The application could be denied since the applicant does not hold a U.S. immigration status while abroad and is therefore ineligible for any status-associated benefits, including the EAD.

Application Process

The Employment Authorization Application Guide for J-2 Dependents will be updated soon with the new form. Photocopy the application packet for record keeping.