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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.
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.
Spouses in F-2 status are not permitted to study full-time or part-time. However, they are permitted to take a class that is recreational in nature. If an F-2 spouse wishes to begin a program of study, he or she must apply for a change status to F-1 or J-1 and must obtain the new status prior to beginning classes. Children in F-2 status may enroll in elementary and secondary school.
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.