Dependent spouses and children of J-1 students enter on J-2 visas. Having J-2 status does not automatically give the J-2 permission to work, but it gives the person the right to apply for work authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS will grant or deny the permission to work based on whether or not the earnings of the J-2 will be used to support the J-1. The J-2 must certify and prove that funds will not be used to support the J-1. The J-2 does not have legal permission to work until the approval is given in the form of Employment Authorization Document (USCIS Form I-766).
J-2 dependents in legal status may qualify for the social security card and number; however, they must be approved for work authorization first. Please visit the ISSO to obtain information and discuss requirements for submitting the petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office.