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The following information is provided for spouses and children of F-1 or J-1 students who hold F-2 or J-2 status.

  • Employment
  • Studying in the U.S.
  • Travel
  • Rochester Global Connections

F-2 visa holders cannot work in the United States. However, if they have an opportunity to take a temporary professional job while in the United States, it may be possible to change status to H-1B.

Persons in J-2 status may accept employment in the United States only if USCIS has granted them employment authorization. Please make an appointment to meet with an ISS advisor to get more information on applying for J-2 work permission.

Studying in the U.S.

If an F-2 spouse wishes to begin a full-time program of study, he or she must apply for a change of status to F-1 or J-1.  However, effective May 29, 2015, F-2 dependents are permitted to study part-time as long as the school is approved by SEVP to host F-1 or M-1 students. This new regulation means that F-2 dependents may enroll in a degree program or take courses toward the completion of a degree prior changing to an F-1 or J-1 category. 

At this time, there is no restriction on a J-2 spouse's ability to study. However, if you are interested in pursuing a degree program as a J-2, please speak with an advisor in the ISS office prior to beginning your studies.

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