Your dependents (your spouse and/or unmarried children who are under the age of 21) may be able to obtain J-2 Visas to accompany you in the United States during your J-1 program. Each dependent who wants to enter the U.S. with you will need to apply for and receive J-2 Visa sponsorship, preferably at the same time that you apply with CICD for your own J-1 Visa sponsorship.
You and your dependents must bring – or have access to – enough money to pay for all of your living expenses while here in the U.S., to pay for air travel to and from the U.S. back to your home country, and to purchase adequate health insurance for your time here. CICD-sponsored dependents are not allowed to accept any employment while they have only the J-2 Visa. There may be a chance that a J-2 can seek work while in the US accompanying a J-1 intern or trainee. For more information and details about the possibility of a J-2 dependent accepting employment in the USA, we recommend contacting a knowledgeable immigration attorney.
You securing sponsorship and a valid J-1 Visa is a requirement for your dependents to apply for the J-2 Visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Remember, applying for any sort of visa, including the J-1 does not guarantee approval of any J-2 Visa application. Your J-1 Visa application and your J-2 Visa applications are separate matters, and the granting/denial decision for each dependent depends entirely on decisions of the visa personnel at the respective U.S. embassy or consulate.
Extending J-2 Visas:
Applications for J-2 Visa extension must be submitted for each of your dependents who accompany you here in the U.S. J-2 extension applications must be submitted to CICD together with your J-1 extension application to be considered. If CICD approves your J-1 extension applications, as well as the extension for your dependent(s), your dependent(s) may remain with you for the specified period of your program extension as indicated on the newly issued DS-2019 form.