J-1 Dependents

Q: What about my spouse and children on J-2 visa? Are they also subject to the 2-year rule if I am subject?

A: Yes, your J-2 spouse and dependent children are also subject to the 2-year rule.

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Q: My J-1 spouse is subject to the 2-year rule and is applying for a waiver. Since I am also subject to this requirement, do I need to apply for my own separate waiver recommendation?

A: No. You are automatically included in your spouse’s waiver recommendation application. Your spouse or parent will need to list you when completing the application for waiver recommendation, Form DS-3035.

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Q: If my J-1 spouse or parent obtains a recommendation for waiver of the two-year home-country physical presence requirement, will it also apply to me, as a J-2 spouse or child of an exchange visitor?

A: Yes. If USCIS grants the waiver to your J-1 spouse or parent, then you will also benefit from that waiver and won’t be subject to the 2-year requirement.

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Q: If my J-1 spouse or parent complies with the –year requirement by staying the home country, will I be relieved from the 2-year requirement?

A: No, J-2 holders have to independently comply with the requirement. If the J-1 holder stays in the home country for 2 years, that would not relieve the J-2 holder from the requirement.

On the other hand, if the J-1 holder receives the J-1 waiver, it will apply to J-2s.

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Q: My J-1 spouse is subject to the 2-year rule, but is not applying for a waiver. May I apply to waive my J-2 requirement by submitting my own waiver application?

A: Generally, you cannot independently apply for a waiver when your J-1 spouse or parent is not applying with the following exceptions:

  • when the J-1 spouse dies;
  • when the J-1 and J-2 spouses divorce; and
  • when a J-2 child reaches age 21.

All such cases are evaluated by the Waiver Review Division on a case-by-case basis.

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