J-1 Scholar/Employee Dependents
Requesting J-2 sponsorship
J-1 visa holders are eligible to request their spouse and/or child (children) to accompany them to the United States on a dependent visa.
Please access our Dependent Request E-Form. To login, enter your UMass NETID credentials and choose Amherst as your campus.
Please scroll through the form first - it is important to have all requested information available. Once you have collected and entered all pertinent information, please hit the submit button. IPO staff will be notified once you have submitted the form.
Dependent requests take 5 business days to be processed.
Bars and Limitations
* these apply to the J-2 as soon as they enter the U.S. in J-2 status
Two-Year Home Country Residency Requirement [INA 212(e)]
Be sure to read page two of your DS-2019. You and your J-2 dependents will be subject to this requirement if your J-1 program is funded by either your government or the US government, involves specialized knowledge or skills deemed necessary by your home country, or if you come to the US for graduate medical training. If this requirement applies to you, you must return to your home country for a cumulative total of two years at the end of your J-1 program. You are not prohibited from traveling to the US but you may not benefit from certain employment-based or family-based visas until the requirement is satisfied.
24 Month Bar
If you are coming to UMass Amherst as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor, you and your J-2 dependents will become subject to the 24-month bar if: (1) you complete a full five years of J-1 Research Scholar or Professor program participation with one or more J-1 program sponsors; or (2) you completed a particular J-1 Research Scholar or Professor program of ANY LENGTH, and your SEVIS record becomes inactive BEFORE the full five-year period is over. You must then wait at least 24 months before you may begin a new J-1 program in the Research Scholar or Professor category.
**Before taking any action in regards to additional visa types of a J-2, while in the U.S., please see an IPO Advisor as soon as possible.
This checklist is provided as a courtesy to the spouses of J-1 scholars at UMass Amherst. See Application Process below. It does not constitute legal advice.
Permission to work will not be authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if the employment is for the support of the J-1 exchange visitor. The money earned by a J-2 spouse may be for J-2 travel, recreational, or cultural activities. If the income is needed to support the exchange visitor, USCIS will not authorize employment.
The current processing time for J-2 work authorization applications is up to 90 days or longer. J-2 work authorization is generally granted for one year, or for the period of time you are authorized to stay in the United States, as indicated on the Form DS-2019 (if less than one year). However, if the Form DS-2019 is valid for more than one year, USCIS may, at its discretion, issue an employment authorization document (EAD) that is valid for a longer period of time. Requests for a longer validity period should be made in writing at the time of application. Enclose a cover letter requesting work authorization until the ending date on the Form DS-2019.