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J-2 Dependents

J-2 Work Authorization

You will need to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card. The EAD card allows you to work in any job, full-time or part-time. Here’s how to get one.

1. Gather your J-2 application documents.


Form G-1145Put this form on the top of your application. This allows USCIS to notify you (via email or text) when they accept your application.
Form I-765I-765 application
A U.S. check or money order for $410 payable to "Department of Homeland Security"You may use:
  • a certified bank check

  • a money order (this is more difficult to track than a check)

  • a personal check from your U.S. bank account
Most recent I-94 arrival/departure recordsAccess your records here. Include copies of both yours and the J-1 student or scholar's.
 Visa stamps in passportInclude copies of both yours and the J-1 student or scholar's
DS-2019 forms (current and all previous)Include copies of both yours and the J-1 student or scholar's.
Passport ID pageInclude copies of both yours and the J-1 student or scholar's.
Two U.S. passport photos of yourselfFor photo standards, visit the Department of State website. Other tips:
  • Photos should not be more than 30-days old when the application is filed.

  • We recommend that you write your name on the back of each picture in pencil.

 A brief cover letter 
A photocopy of any previously issued EAD cards. 

2. Send your application documents via regular mail to:

PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036

The EAD Application Process

USCIS can take up to three months to process an EAD application. You will receive three documents during this time:

  1. Within 2-4 weeks of sending your application, you will receive an I-797 Notice of Action Receipt Notice in the mail. Use this receipt number to check the Case Status of your application online at
  2. After your application is approved, you will then receive a I-797 Notice of Action Approval Notice and your Employment Authorization Document or EAD card.

EAD Card Extensions

You cannot work after the EAD card has expired, but you may be able to extend your EAD.

EAD extensions, up to the end date of your J-1 spouse’s program, are possible. The extension process also takes an average of three months, so plan ahead.