Frequently Asked Questions - J-2 Visa

Starting a Business on J-2 Visa
I will have a J-1 visa when I come to the US, can my spouse on J-2 start a sole proprietorship as consultant? Would he have to get the EAD first? He will work for the same company as he works for now, only as a consultant.

Under the law (8CFR 21A.2(j)(1) (v) (A)), a J-2 holder may use the earnings to support the J-1 visa holder. The earnings must be used for the “Family's customary recreational and cultural activities and those related travel.”

Two-Year Home Residency Requirement
Let’s say that a J-2 visa holder enters the United States as a derivative of a J-1 principal who is subject to the two-year home residency requirement of INA 212(e). Without leaving the United States, she later changes status from J-2 to J-1. The J-1 program in which she participates as the principal is also subject to INA 212(e). Thus, the person is independently subject to INA 212(e) based on two separate programs – her husband’s (as a J-2 derivative) and her own (as a J-1 principal). Please confirm that this person may file a single DS-3035 form that includes all DS-2019s from both programs and receive a single waiver covering both programs.

In this situation, the applicant’s J-1 waiver does not cover her period in J-2 status. 9 FAM 41.62 states that if an alien is subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement, the spouse and child of that alien are also subject to that requirement. Thus, the individual you have described would need a separate waiver to cover the time that she spent in J-2 status that subjected her to the two-year home residency requirement.Two separate DS-3035 applications would therefore be required in this circumstance.

Canadian with J-2 visa
I am a Canadian with J2 visa. I am an engineer and want to work in US to keep up with my career. I am going to apply for EAD. If I don't get, can I switch from J2 to TN. Can my kids still stay on J2?

You can switch back to TN from J-2. What you do has no effect on the children. They derive their status directly from your J-1 spouse.

J-2 holders and work authorization
Can I use my J-2 visa for internship and work after completion of FPGEE?

J-2 holders can get work authorization and work as per the licensing requirements of their profession.

J-2 to TN
I am Canadian citizen & currently working on TN visa. My spouse is on J1 visa. I want to switch to J2 and get EAD. After couple of years he will apply for waiver and will move to H1. I believe I will be switched to H2 automatically as his dependant and my EAD will be void. Will that be possible at that time that I can switch back to my TN status?

You can switch back to TN. To correct slightly, you do not automatically get switched to an H-4 (not H-2).

J-2 visa and I-275
My spouse is J-1 and is in US and I want to apply for J-2 to enter US. But 10years back I was denied entry in US on my B1/B2 Visa with I-275 executed stamp on my passport because in my last stay in US I attended college for a semester on B1/B2 visa. So I need to ask are there chances that I will get a J-2 visa to join my spouse?

It is entirely in the discretion of the consular officer whether or not to give you a J-2 visa. Impossible to predict.

J-2 Status
I am working in USA with the J1 visa as Postdoctoral Fellow. In April 2017 my girlfriend tried to come to USA and she was refused under the section 212a, because she told to the TSA agent that they did not have a serious relationship with anybody in USA, and they found out that she had sentimental links to me checking her phone, we were in bad moment in our relationship by that time. She has double nationality Venezuelan/Italian and she was trying to get in USA with the Italian ESTA. They removed her ESTA for ever and they told her that If she wan to enter in USA she is going to need a visa. Then I got married with her trying to get a J2 visa for her but the consulate denied twice her application under the article 214b, one in August ( after got married in Venezuela, and the other one now in December (on December we went together because I had to renew mine, but not success for her one).

Anyone who attempts to gain any immigration benefits, including visas, through perceived fraud or misrepresentation is permanently barred from entering the USA. In cases like this, you can try to revisit these findings with the consulate, but these are long, drawn out battles and difficult to win. Temporary visits may be possible with something called a 212 (d) (3) waiver.

J-2 or J-1 with 212(e) HRR converting to F-1 student
I want to pursue MS Degree from US and presently I am living in the US on J-2 visa. My wife is working as a Post doctoral Fellow here on J-1 visa. We both are subject to two years Home Residency Requirement. My concern is that how can I change my visa status from J-2 to F-1. Do I need to get a waiver before applying -F1 visa?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://youtu.be/ZvUVIGTM-Kk?t=520

Can a J-2 holder get a HRR 212(e) waiver without J-1?
My wife is working here in the US on J-1 visa as a Post Doctoral Fellow and She is subject to 2HRR requirement.I came to United States last year on J-2 visa from India and after few month I applied and got the EAD card and now I am also working for XYZ IT company here in the USA and I am subject to two HRR requirement as well. My employer wants to file H-1B visa for me but my wife does not have an offer for H-1B visa so in that case Can I (J-2 visa holder) file a waiver petition independently of the J-1 Principal?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

https://youtu.be/XAfykYM-cUQ?t=89

FAQ Transcript:

J-2 Dependent Changing to Other Working Visa
Can a J-2 dependent (Canadian citizen) change to other working visa or have to change to H-4 when J-1 gets waiver and moves to H-1. Basically any hope for a spouse on J-2 to get work authorization (TN/H-1/investor visa) before the 3 year waiver is complete?

Yes, the J-2 can, UNLESS the J-1 holder is a physician serving the three years for J-1 waiver. 

Change of Status from J-2 to TN
Am I allowed to apply for TN status while EAD is pending. E.g Based on my new DS2019, I apply for EAD in May/14 for authorization beginning Jul1/14-Jun30/15. Now I get an offer letter. In Jun/14, can I apply for TN status at the border or for COS with I-129 with USCIS?

Check with USCIS customer service