Work Authorization for a J-2 Spouse

Individuals who are temporarily in the United States and eligible for employment authorization may file an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) to request for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Steps to Apply for a J-2 EAD

  1. Make check or money order in the amount of $410 payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”. (Be sure the check has your name and address on it.)
  2. Complete Form 1-765 per USCIS instructions. Print single-sided. Sign at the bottom in BLUE ink.
    • On item #9, leave blank if you do not yet have a Social Security number.
    • On item #16, put in the code “(C)(5)( )”.
  3. Include the following supporting documents:
    • Photocopy of both the J-1’s and J-2’s DS-2019 forms.
    • Photocopy of both sides of J-2’s I-94 Arrival/Departure Document.
    • 2 Colored US passport-style photographs. (2 inches x 2 inches) See all rules here.
      • Using pencil or felt pen, lightly print your name and I-94 number on the back of both photos.
    • Financial statement letter
    • Photocopy of Evidence of Funds used to obtain J-2 visa.
    • Colored photocopy of J-2’s biographical passport page.
    • Photocopy of marriage certificate (with certified English translation if original is not in English)
      • The person certifying the translation must state that s/he is fluent/conversant in English and the foreign language, and that the translation is accurate. The certification must include the certifier’s name, signature, address, and date of certification. The certification must be by a person other than the petitioner or beneficiary of the petition.
  4. Bring the completed application to the Visa Office for review before submitting it to USCIS
  5. Mail the signed form and supporting documents to the “direct filing address” found on the USCIS website – look for (c)(5).

***Note: For Extension/renewal of EAD, include all above documents and a photocopy of both sides of your previous EAD card(s). (You cannot file an extension more than 120 days before your original EAD expires.)

To receive email/text message notification that your application has been received and is processing, complete Form G-1145 and clip it to the first page of your Application for Employment Authorization.

You will receive an official receipt, Form I-797C “Notice of Action” from USCIS in the mail usually within 2-6 weeks. You may use the receipt number to check the status of your application online. To check the status of your case, please use “Check my Status” tool.

Once the application is approved, you will receive a plastic card which can be used to prove employment authorization in the U.S.