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Most dependents are ineligible to work in the United States. Specifically, dependent spouses and children in F-2, H-4, O-3, and TD status may NOT work. If a dependent spouse qualifies for an H-1B or J-1 in his/her own right, it is usually possible to change to that status. Consult your international advisor for specific information.

E-1, E-2, E-3, and L-2 Dependent Spouses

Spouses in E-1, E-2, E-3, and L-2 status may apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in order to engage in employment.

J-2 Dependent Spouses and Children

Spouses and children in J-2 status may apply for an EAD in order to engage in employment. J-2 dependents can apply for an EAD before receiving a job offer. J-2 employment is not limited to any specific field and may include full or part time employment. J-2 income cannot be used to support the J-1 student or scholar. The EAD will be issued for the length of the J-1 student's or scholar's program. If the J-1's program is extended, the J-2 may apply for another EAD.


EAD processing time is usually three months. We recommend filing the EAD extension at least three months prior to the current EAD expiration date. Please contact your international advisor for information about the EAD application process.