Those on a J-1 Scholars visa may bring immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children under age 21) as J-2 dependents. Unmarried partners are not eligible for J-2 status.
Dependents must have their own DS-2019 forms.
If dependents will be accompanying the J Scholar to the U.S.,the department should request a DS-2019 for each dependent at the primary visa holder’s DS-2019 submission. If the dependents need to be added after the J-1 Scholar is already in the U.S., the department should submit a new request in Axess to add dependents.
If the J-1 Scholar is subject to the Two-year Home-country Physical Presence Requirement and/or the 24-month Bar, the J-2 dependents are also subject to these requirements. The Two-Year Home Residency Requirement would prevent the J-2 from applying for their own H-1B status, while the 24-month Bar would prevent the J-2 from obtaining their own J-1 in the Research Scholar or Professor Category. More information can be found at Two-year Home-country Physical Presence Requirement.
Funding Requirements for J-2 Dependents
In addition to showing adequate financial resources to complete the program, the J-1 Scholar must show financial resources to support any accompanying dependents.
In addition to the minimum funding required for a J-1 scholar ($2,500 per month/$30,000 per year), those bringing dependents must show a minimum of $600 per month/ $7,200 per year for a spouse and $300 per month/ $3,600 per year for each child.
In many cases, the J-1 Scholar’s funding or salary is sufficient to cover the costs of the dependents. Sometimes additional financial support is needed. Proof of funding may be in the form of a recent bank letter or bank statement.
The department hosting the J-1 Scholar should retain the evidence of sufficient funds that J-1 provides demonstrating this financial support for the dependents for three years after the completion of your J-1 program.
The required funding amount is calculated based on the J-1 program start and end dates, not by the dependents’ entry to and departure from the U.S. Use the Dependent Funding Worksheet to calculate required funding.
Postdoctoral Scholars with More Than Two Dependents
The minimum postdoc salary at Stanford covers the dependent costs for a spouse and one child, giving most postdocs sufficient funds to cover costs for the two dependents.
However, if a postdoc has more than two dependents and the salary does not cover the dependents costs, supplementing the salary with personal funds for the purpose of visa issuance to cover dependent costs is allowed.