Family members of a J-1 visa holder may apply for a J-2 visa. The spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) may accompany or later join the J-1 visa holder to the United States. The J-2 visa holders can stay in the USA as long as the J-1 visa holder remains in official status.
Eligibility for a J-2 visa depends on the specific exchange program being offered to the J-1 non-immigrant by a sponsor organizations. The sponsor must approve the accompaniment of the spouse and/or children who will each be issued their own DS-2019 Form.
In most cases a J-2 visa holder can seek employment. To be able to work, a J-2 visa holder must obtain an Employment Authorization Document from the Department of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Money earned by a J-2 cannot be used to support the principal J-1 visa holder expenses.
A J-2 may enter the United States along with their J-1 spouse or parent or join the J-1 while participating in their exchange program in the United States. They may study or work while in the United States.
You are dependent upon the status of the principle J-1 holder and are only able to apply for a work permit after arriving in the United States.
You may remain in the United States as long as the principle J-1 Visa holder has valid J-1 status.