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J-1 Scholar Employment

J-2 Dependents

You will need to apply for an Employment Authorization Document. The EAD card allows you to work in any job, full-time or part-time.

Here’s how to get one.

Step 01

Gather your J-2 application documents:

Form G-1145: Place 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-765: Form I-765 application

A U.S. check or money order for $410 payable to "Department of Homeland Security." You can 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 records: Access your records here. Include copies of both yours and the J-1 student or scholar's.

Visa stamps in passport: Include 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 page: Include copies of both yours and the J-1 student or scholar's.

Two U.S. passport photos of yourself:  For 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.

Step 02

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 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 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 3-4 months, so plan ahead.