Immediate family members (spouse and children) of the J-1 Exchange Visitor are J-2 dependents. Unmarried partners are not eligible for J-2 status.
Regulations of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program require that dependents who will enter the U.S. either with the J-1 or subsequent to the J-1's entry need their own DS-2019 forms. They will also need to use these forms for initial and subsequent entries either with or separate from the J-1, during the J-1's program.
Qualifying to bring J-2 Dependents
Federal regulations state that the J-1 must “possess adequate financial resources to support any accompanying dependents” (CFR 62.12(3)) in addition to possessing “adequate financial resources to complete his or her program” (CFR 62.12 (2)).
To this end, Stanford will require—as of January 6, 2014--that J-1s wishing to bring dependents ((J-2s) or those who wish to extend their programs with dependents, must submit proof of funding above and beyond the minimum funding for their own J program ($2500 per month/$30,000 per annum) with the financial minimums for the support of dependents below:
Spouse: $600 per month/ $7,200 per annum
Per Child: $300 per month/ $3,600 per annum
How will the department calculate the costs?
By using the Dependent Funding Worksheet.
How will the department attest that the dependent funding is sufficient?
By checking the statement included in all J requests that involve the funding of dependents. The statement is:
“I hereby acknowledge that the funding information provided is accurate to the best of my knowledge and is sufficient to support both the scholar and –if applicable- his/her dependent(s).”
Will it take longer to process the DS-2019(s) because of this requirement?
In 2013, only 40% of our incoming J-1 scholars requested to bring dependents in the “Initial”, “Transfer” and “Add Dependent” requests. So for the majority of cases, there should be no delay, as there are no dependents. However, there will be cases where we cannot allow the J-1 to bring dependents until more evidence of funding has been submitted to the department. This may result in delays in processing.
Dependent Funding Attestation:
In most cases, the scholar’s funding or salary will be sufficient to cover the costs of the dependents. No additional financial support evidence need be requested. However, there are cases where additional financial support evidence must be requested. Once the evidence of sufficient funds for the dependents has been submitted to the department, the department must attest that this funding is sufficient to support the dependents for the duration of the J-1’s program.
“Initial”, “Extension”, and “Transfer” requests:
Before submitting an “Initial”, “Extension” or “Transfer” request in workflow, you will be asked to attest to the fact that the scholar has sufficient funds to support him/herself and his/her dependents. Before attesting to sufficient funding, please use the Dependent Funding Worksheet to verify that the funding support listed on the J-1’s DS-2019 is sufficient to cover total program costs for both the scholar and dependents.
Special note about “Extension” requests: Unfortunately, the “Extension” request screen does not show if the J-1 has dependents. Departments will need to consult the hard copy DS-2019s in order to determine if the J-1 has dependents and how many.
Postdoctoral Scholars with more than two dependents
The minimum postdoc salary at Stanford ($43,932-- as of October, 2013) will already cover the dependent costs for a spouse and one child. Most postdocs will have sufficient funds to cover costs for their dependents, if any.
However, if a postdoc has more than two dependents and his/her salary does not cover the costs, then the J-1 will need to supplement the salary with enough personal funds to cover the dependent costs. In most cases, there is no “Personal Funds” option in the “Initial” “Extension” or “Update Funds without extension” workflow requests, so the department will need to note the additional personal funds in the “Comments” section of the request form, with the explanation that the supplementary personal funds be added to the J-1’s DS-2019.
“Add Dependent” request:
This is used to request dependent DS-2019s after the J-1 DS-2019 has already been issued. As in the process noted above, the department will be asked to attest that the funding is sufficient to add one or more dependents to the J-1’s record. In the event that the J-1’s DS-2019 does not show sufficient funds to cover the costs for the additional dependent(s), then the department will first be required to request evidence of additional funding from the J-1 and submit an “Update Funds without Extension” request to update the financial section in the J-1’s DS-2019. After the J-1’s DS-2019 has been updated, the department may then submit an “Add Dependent” request.
A travel signature for subsequent entries will also be needed in the travel validation section of the document, after the document has been used for the initial entry.
It is also strongly recommended that all family members apply for entry visas at the same time. Dependents who apply for entry visas after the principal (J-1) Visitor may find their application process more difficult in the absence of the principal.
If the DS-2019s for the J-1 and the dependents are issued at the same time and they all apply for and are granted the visas at the same time, the J-2 dependents can enter the U.S. at any time during the program dates noted on the DS-2019. The International Center provides no documentation beyond the DS-2019 to facilitate travel or entry visa applications by dependents. Families may be required by the Consular officials to provide evidence of the relationship to the J-1 through birth and marriage certificates.
After their arrival, J-2 dependents are eligible to request work authorization from the USCIS. Applicants must be in the US in J-2 status; the application cannot be submitted prior to arrival. The instructions and a link to the form I-765 can be found here.
Families should access our International Spouse and Family pages on our web site.
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