Office of International Affairs International Student & Scholar Services

J-2 Dependent Employment Authorization

Persons in J-2 Dependent status are eligible to apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for employment authorization.   The wages from the J-2's employment cannot be used to support the J-1 Exchange Visitor.   Applications from J-2 dependents in Lubbock are filed with the Texas Service Center of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).  When approved the J-2 will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card, INS form I-766.  With this card the J-2 can work part-time or full-time, at any job, for any employer within the dates of validity of the card.  EAD cards are issued for one year or until the program end date on the J-2's form DS-2019, whichever is shorter.  An EAD card can also be used to show eligibility for a Social Security Number.

USCIS may take 60 to 90 days or more to process the application for employment authorization.  A J-2 can only work during periods when he or she has an EAD.  Although a J-2 can apply for an extension and new card by following the same application procedures as the first time, there is no guarantee that the new card will be received before the expiration of the first card.  There is no extension of employment authorization until the new card is received.  

Application Procedures
1) Complete an immigration form I-765, “Application for Employment Authorization” showing “(c)(5)( )” in item 16.  In Part 1 the address should be “Office of International Affairs, Box 45004 Texas Tech, Lubbock, TX 79409-5004.”  (Form available on USCIS webpage)

2)  A copy of any previously issued EAD cards.
3)  Two color passport photos taken within the last thirty days with a white background.
4)  A copy of front and back of the J-2's and J-1's forms I-94, “Departure Record.”
5)  A copy of the J-1's and J-2’s form DS-2019.
6)  A $380 check or money order payable to “DHS.”
7)  A letter from the J-2 to the USCIS Texas Service Center requesting employment authorization, telling why the J-2 wishes to work, and stating that money from the employment will not be used to support the J-1 spouse or parent. (A sample letter is available on this webpage)

Revised: 8/2011

Texas Tech University Office of International Affairs, MS 5004, 742-3667, fax 742-1286