J-2 Dependent Resources

J-1 students may bring their dependents to the United States during their J-1 program if they are a spouse or unmarried child under the age of 21. Some of the requirements and benefits of the J-2 status holder are similar to the J-1 status holder and some are different.

Required Documents

Each J-2 must carry the following documents to maintain their dependent status in the United States:

  • Passport valid for at least six months into the future
  • Valid DS-2019
  • Valid I-94
  • Visa stamp (validity only necessary for entry to the United States)

Insurance Requirement

While in the United States, J-2 dependents must have valid health insurance that meets the Department of State requirements:

  • The insurance is applicable for use in the U.S. medical system
  • Medical: $50,000 or more per accident or illness
  • Deductible: $500 or less per accident or illness
  • Medical evacuation: At least $10,000 of coverage
  • Repatriation: At least $7,500 of coverage
  • Business rating: Meets federal solvency guidelines   
To meet federal solvency guidelines, the insurance meets at least one of the minimum requirements listed below:

  • Is underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of “A-” or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of “A-” or above, a Standard and Poor’s Claims-paying Ability rating of “A” or above, a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above, or such other rating service as the Agency may from time to time specify; or
  • Is backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor’s home country; or
  • Is part of a health benefits program offered on a group basis to employees or enrolled students by a designated sponsor; or
  • Is offered through or underwritten by a federally qualified Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or eligible Competitive Medical Plan (CMP) as determined by the Health Care Financing Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services             << Read less

Study in J-2 Status

There is no reglatory restriction on study for J-2 dependents. However, if J-2’s wish to remain in the United States to pursue an education beyond the age of 21 they must change their status to F-1. They may only apply for a change of status to F-1 with USCIS if they have obtained a waiver of the 212(e)  Two-Year Home Country Physical Requirement. Otherwise they will have to apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. consulate outside the United States.

Form information on J-2 employment and driving in the U.S. refer to the following links:

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