J-2 Employment-Office of International Education - Carnegie Mellon University

J-2 Employment

OIE's handout on work authorization for J-2 dependents (.pdf).

J-2 dependents are unique in their ability to apply for and receive work authorization in the U.S. Most spouses and working-age children of non-immigrants in the U.S. are not allowed to work.

J-2 dependents use a process similar to the USCIS procedure for F-1 students who are seeking permission for Optional Practical Training. The J-2 completes USCIS Form I-765 and submits it with other required documentation and the appropriate fee to the USCIS. Provided the application is correct and complete, the work authorization (in the form of a "EAD Card" or employment authorization document) will likely be received within 1 to 3 months. The J-2 may not legally begin work until the card has been received.

Form I-765 should be downloaded from the USCIS website - click on Immigration Forms.

J-2 dependents are typically granted work permission from the USCIS for a period of one year. However, if the period of time remaining on the J-1's DS-2019 is less than one year, then the work authorization will be shorter also (to match the period on the DS-2019).

OIE will assist the J-2 dependents of CMU J-1 students or scholars with the EAD application process and other general work and timing issues. OIE has helpful instructions available in our office and on our website. After the J-2 receives work authorization, s/he may apply for the US Social Security Number (SSN) which is required in order to work in the US. Again, OIE can assist with information on this process.

OIE encourages new J-2 workers to attend our weekly New Scholar Orientation sessions held each week on Thursday, from 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM. Call the OIE at (412) 268-5231 for more information or to schedule attendance. J-2 workers should bring their passport with I-94, DS-2019, and EAD card to the meeting.

Last Updated On:  January 10, 2017