J-2 dependents are eligible to apply for work permission in the United States if the income from such employment is not needed to support the J-1. Authorized work permission allows a J-2 dependent to work an unlimited number of hours per week in any type of job. Applications for J-2 work permission must be sent directly to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for approval and do not need approval of the OGS. Work permission from the USCIS is granted in the form of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). J-2 applicants should not begin employment until USCIS authorization is received. Processing time currently takes 60-90 days. The USCIS routinely mails the EAD directly to the J-2’s home address as completed on the application.
NOTE: USCIS will grant work authorization only up until the end date on your DS-2019 form. If your J-1 spouse extends her/his program in the United States and you wish to continue working, you will need to apply for a renewal of your EAD by completing Form I-765, submitting the supporting documents and paying the fee again. It is recommended that you do this at least 90 days but not more than 120 days prior to your current EAD expiration date.
If you live in New York or New Jersey send your application to one of the USCIS lockbox facilities below:
By Courier Service (FedEx, DHL, UPS):
USCIS, Attn: AOS
2501 S. State Hwy. 121
Business Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067
By U.S. Postal Service:
PO Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266
It is highly recommended that you use a courier service to send forms to the Lewisville, TX address. Those with addresses in other states can read the I-765 instructions on where to mail their applications.
It is recommended that you obtain a tracking number when you mail your package. Also, you should keep a copy of everything you submit in case your package gets lost in the mail.
To receive an e-mail and/or a text message that your Form I-765 has been accepted at a USCIS Lockbox facility, complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance and clip it to the first page of your application. There is no fee to do this, however, this service is currently only available at the Lewisville, TX facility.
You should get a receipt with a number from USCIS a few weeks after mailing in the application. Save the receipt and refer to the number if you want to track the status of your case at www.uscis.gov.