A spouse and/or children (under the age of 21) are eligible to apply for a J-2 visa to accompany you while you are participating in your BridgeUSA Program in the United States. A spouse, child or other family or friend who would like to visit the J-1 exchange visitor for a short period of time and necessarily remain in the U.S. for the duration of the BridgeUSA program should apply for a B1/B2 tourist visa.
When deciding to bring your dependents to the U.S. in a J-2 status, please consider the following:
- A J-2 status is only required when a dependent will come to the U.S. to reside with you for a significant period of the Exchange Program/a period longer than is available as a B tourist. If a dependent will visit for a short period then it may be suitable or even more beneficial to apply for a B tourist visa.
- All J-2 dependents must be covered with health insurance that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of State & University System of Georgia SHIP minimum standards, similar to the J-1. B tourists are encouraged to purchase a travel insurance policy and may be required to provide evidence in the B visa interview although it is not a federal and state legal requirement as it is for J-1 and J-2 visa holders.
- When the J-1 is subject to the 212(e) Home Country Physical Residence requirement, all J-2 dependents will also be subject to the home country residence requirement.
- J-1 Exchange Visitors with a Research Scholar or Professor category will be subject to the 24 month bar preventing repeat participation. This bar on back to back participation in the Research Scholar or Professor category will also apply to all J-2 dependents. This could impact a spouse who is interested in participating in their own BridgeUSA program during their time in the U.S. as the 24 month bar would prevent change from a J-2 dependent of a Research Scholar or Professor to a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar.
It is best that prospective J Exchange Visitors identify in the Initial DS-2019 request form submitted by the sponsoring department that dependent DS-2019(s) are requested. It is also possible for a J Exchange Visitor to submit a Dependent J-2 request e-form in iStart at any time after arriving to the U.S. The J-1 Exchange Visitor will enter biographical information about the J-2 dependent and provide proof of funds sufficient to cover the costs of supporting dependent(s) in the U.S.
You will be required to show a minimum of $700/month for a spouse and $400/month for each child.
Financial documents submitted must meet OIE's Financial Document Requirements.