J-2 Work Authorization

Applying for J-2 work authorization

If you have J-2 immigration status, you can apply directly to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for work authorization. If you obtain work authorization, you will receive a card, known as the Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The work authorization will be valid for 12 months or until the expiration of your J-1’s DS-2019—whichever is sooner. Do not begin work until you receive authorization.

Report J-2 information

Department of State regulations require you to notify the Office of International Services regarding your dependent(s) in the following two cases:

  1. If your J-2 dependent(s) get a new email address:
    • Log in to Atlas and complete the Report J-2 Email Address Change e-form within 10 days of any email address update or new email address.
  2. If your J-2 dependent(s) will depart the United States before you (the J-1) will depart the United States:
    • Email us at ois@iu.edu.

How to apply for work authorization

You should apply for employment authorization by mail. When applying, you will need to include the following items:

  • A U.S. $410 check or money order payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • A completed Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization). The I-765 form can be downloaded from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For question #16 use code (c)(5) for J-2 work authorization.
  • Two passport-style photos with your name and date of birth printed in pencil on the back
  • Photocopy of the J-1’s and J-2’s DS-2019s
  • Photocopy of the name page and photo page of your passport
  • Personal statement. The statement must be signed and dated and must state:
    • The reason you want to work
    • That the J-1 has adequate funds to cover his/her studies and living expenses
    • That any income that you earn will not be used to support the J-1
  • Photocopies of any past EAD card(s)
  • Photocopies of the J-1’s and J-2’s I-94 cards/printouts

If mailing from an Indiana address, send your application and supporting documents to:

USCIS
P.O. Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036

For express mail and courier deliveries:

USCIS
Attn: AOS
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Tips for your application

  • Keep a photocopy of your application.
  • Bring your application to the Office of International Services (OIS) for review if you would like assistance.
  • Include a job offer letter with your application if you have one. It may help expedite the processing of your application.