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Students currently in J-1 status who wish to add their legally married spouse and/or unmarried minor children (under 21 years old) as J-2 dependent status will need to obtain a Form DS-2019 for each dependent from ISPO.

All other relatives who wish to come to the U.S. to visit should apply for B-2 (visitor for pleasure) visa status or the Visa Waiver Program, if eligible.


Requesting Form DS-2019 for a J-2 Dependent

To request a new Form DS-2019 for your J-2 dependent, please follow the following instructions:

  • Log in to
  • Go to "Services" tab
  • Select "Dependent I-20/DS-2019 Request"
  • Upload a PDF copy of your bank statement(s) or financial support letter(s) to show funding for the period of your extension
    • The funds need to cover estimated expenses for your tuition & fees
    • The funds also need to cover combined living expenses, other expenses and dependent expenses for both yourself and your J-2 dependent
    • You must show funding to cover expenses for the remainder of your study
    • For more information on funding documents requirements, visit our Funding Requirements page
  • Upload a copy of dependent’s biographical page from passport
  • Upload a copy of marriage certificate (spouse dependent) or birth certificate (child dependent) with English translation

Processing Your J-2 DS-2019 Request

  • A new J-2 DS-2019 for your J-2 dependent should be ready within 5 business days
  • You can check the status of your request anytime by logging in to iPortal and clicking on "My Requests" tab
  • You will be able to select in iPortal how you would like to receive your document
  • You will be notified by email when your document is ready


Establishing J-2 Status

  • If the spouse/child is outside the U.S.,the J-2 dependent must apply for a J-2 visa and enter the U.S. using the J-2 Visa and DS-2019 to establish J-2 status in the U.S. OR
  • If the spouse/child is already in the U.S., they may be eligible to apply for a Change of Status from their current status to J-2. An I-539 Change of Status application must be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Meet with an international student advisor to discuss the change of status process. 

J-2 Employment

Visit our J-2 Employment Page for more information

J-2 Study

J-2 dependents are eligible for part-time or full-time study at every level of education. However, ISPO recommends that a J-2 dependent who plans on enrolling in an undergraduate or graduate program of study make an appointment to speak to an ISPO advisor about the benefits of changing status to a student visa.

J-2 Health Insurance Requirements

J-2 dependents are required by the U.S. Department of State to have health insurance for the entire duration of their stat in the United States as exchange visitors. For more information about this requirement, see our Maintain Adequate Health Insurance” information.

Social Security Number

Please note, J-2 dependents only qualify for a Social Security Card if they apply for J-2 Employment Authorization. Once this is approved, the J-2 must submit the EAD card and DS-2019 form to apply.

Driver License

Dependents must show proof of ineligibility of a Social Security Card with a denial letter from the Social Security Administration or apply for a number, if eligible (via J-2 Employment Authorization), prior to applying for a Driver License.

For more infomation, review our Driver License and Transportation page

Family Support Resources