Most dependents are ineligible to work in the United States. If a dependent spouse qualifies for an H-1B or J-1 in their own right, it is usually possible to change to that status. Consult your international advisor for specific information.
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-2s are required to have a valid EAD whenever they are employed or conducting employment activities that would normally be paid while physically present in the United States. This applies for both U.S. and foreign employers, regardless of where the payment is received. 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.
Timing. 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.
H-4 Dependent Spouses. Most spouses in H-4 are not allowed to work. However, if the H-1B primary has an approved I-140 immigrant visa petition or falls in a very specific H-1B category, the H-4 spouse may apply for an EAD. See the USCIS website for more details.
H-4 Dependent Children. Children in H-4 are not allowed to work.
E-3 Dependent Spouses. Spouses in E-3 are allowed to work, based on their E-3 status. An EAD is not required. See the USCIS website for more information.
E-3 Dependent Children. Children in E-3 are not allowed to work.
Timing. EAD processing time is usually three months. We recommend filing the EAD extension at least three months prior to the current EAD expiration date. See the USCIS website for information on the automatic extension of certain EADs.