J-2 work requirements for international scholars dependents

J-2 dependents are eligible to apply for work authorization to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The approval process takes anywhere from two to four months and the applicant will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card. The card is usually valid for up to one year, subject to the program end date listed on the DS-2019 form.

J-2 visa holders may begin employment once they receive an EAD card and the start date is effective. This type of employment authorization allows J-2 visa holders to work full-time or part-time for any type of employer. They can change employers without having to notify immigration services or OISS. If they want to renew their card, they should apply for an extension at least three to four months prior to the expiration date listed on their current document.

Apply for a Social Security card

In order to be employed, J-2 visa holders must have a Social Security Number. To apply for a social security card, please go to the Social Security Office located at 1170 Harvard Way in Reno, Nevada. Bring the following documents to the appointment:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • I-94 card
  • DS-2019
  • EAD card
  • I-797 form (if J-2 visa was obtained through the change of status procedures)

How to apply for an Employment Authorization Document

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services manages the application process for an Employment Authorization Document. To do so, you must complete I-765, an Application for Employment Authorization.

File your I-765 Application for Employment Authorization