J-2 work permits are obtained from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) through an application process that takes an average of 3-5 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 3-5 months, so plan ahead if employment needs to be continuous (without any gaps between work authorization periods).
There are increased risks of traveling outside of the U.S. while your EAD application is pending. Please consult with a BIO adviser before planning international travel during this period.
Please see the Employment Authorization Application Guide for J-2 Dependents for information on the application process.