Leading Immigration Lawyers With Over 9000 Applications Approved
Call +44 (0)333 414 9244 | Mon - Sun, 8.30am -6pm

J-2 Visa Requirements for Nigerians

The J-2 visa allows immediate family members of J-1 visa holders to accompany them to the United States for the duration of their exchange program. While the application process is largely similar to that of the J-1 visa and often takes place at the same time, it is important to understand the specific eligibility requirements beforehand.

If you or a family member are interested in applying for a J-2 visa or need additional advice, you can visit our local office in Lagos, Nigeria and call us at +23413438882 or at +44 (0) 3316300929 for immediate help with your US visa petition.


Do you Need Assistance with Your Application?

We have successfully helped numerous Nigerians obtain their J-2 visas. If you have any questions about the requirements and the application process do not hesitate to contact us. Let us handle all the complexities and make your travel plans as stress-free as possible.

Nigerian Emigration

For Nigerian emigration matters, please call +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929

Other Immigration and Emigration Matters

For immigration/emigration to/from other countries, please call:

US –  +1 844 290 6312

Ireland –  (+353) 061 518 025

UK –  (+44) 333 4149244

What Is a J-2 Visa?

The J-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa under the US Exchange Program that allows non-permanent residence in the United States for direct family members of J-1 visa holders as their dependents. This includes spouses and underage children, but not parents, siblings, or children over the age of 21.

As a derivative of the J-1 visa, eligibility and restrictions largely depend on the specific exchange program. As a dependent, your status is subject to any changes made to the status of the primary J-1 visa holder and will only remain valid as long as all conditions of the exchange program are met.

J-1 and J-2 visa beneficiaries may enter the US up to 30 days before the program starts and are expected to leave within a grace period of 30 days after its end date. If the sponsor terminates the program, you are expected to depart immediately.

Am I Eligible for a J-2 Visa?


The J-2 visa is limited to immediate family members. You may qualify if you are:

  • Married to a J-1 visa holder
  • The unmarried child of a J-1 visa holder and under the age of 21

You will have to prove your relationship status to the principal J-1 visa holder. If you are dating or in an unofficial partnership you will not qualify for a J-2 visa. Family members or partners who do not meet the requirements may be able to apply for a B-1 or B-2 visitor visa instead.

The J-1 visa holder will need proof that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and any dependent for the entire duration of the program.

The monthly amounts needed are $1,310/month of individual support for the J-1 visa holder, $666/month for the first J-2 dependent, and $562/month for each additional J-2 dependent. All J-1 and J-2 visitors will need to be covered by health insurance while in the US.

You should keep in mind that there are different J-1 visa classifications which may or may not allow dependents. It is at the discretion of individual organisations to give or deny permission.

Some exchange categories that do not offer J-2 visas include, but are not limited to:

  • Au pairs
  • Camp counsellors
  • Students
  • Work and travel participants

If you or a family member are planning to bring along a spouse or children, it is best to inquire about this when seeking a sponsor. There is no annual limit to the number of J-2 visas that can be issued to eligible applicants.

Working on a J-2 Visa

J-2 visa beneficiaries are usually able to seek employment in the US after they have officially entered.

You will need to be approved for a work permit or EAD (Employment Authorization Document) by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). To apply, file Form I-765 and pay the filing fee. You will also need to include a cover letter, copies of your visa documents, as well as proof that the J-1 visa holder has sufficient funds to support themselves.

Once you have obtained your EAD you may apply for a Social Security Number and start working full-time or part-time for any employer. There are no restrictions as to salary, but keep in mind that you will be subject to federal and local income tax.

Your EAD will most likely be valid for 12 months or until the end of your J-2 visa. Applications may take around 90 days and it is recommended that you apply for renewal well in advance. Should your EAD expire, you must stop working until you receive a new one.

Studying on a J-2 Visa

J-2 dependents may enrol in any academic program within the US.

Should your J-2 status expire before the end of your studies, you will need to apply for a different visa such as a F-1 student visa. Remember that a J-2 visa for a child expires when they turn 21.

Let our expert guidance lead you through the requirements, ensuring a seamless path to your J-2 Visa.

How Do I Apply for a J-2 Visa?


Each applicant will need a valid Form DS-2019 issued by the sponsor of the exchange program. This form provides specific information about the sponsor and the applicant, as well as details about the start and end date of the program, expected costs, and visa category.

You will also need to file Form DS-160 to the US Department of State, which you can do electronically on their website. During this process, you will need to enter your details correctly and upload a passport-style photograph. Don’t forget to pay your visa processing fee.

The Interview

When you are ready and your payment has been processed, you can apply for an interview at the US Embassy in Abuja or the US Consulate in General Lagos. Waiting times can be long, so make sure you start your application process early.

J-2 visa interview questions may ask about your relationship to the J-1 visa holder, the purpose of your trip (providing information about the exchange program and your connection to the J-1 visa holder will often suffice here), evidence of financial support, and your intentions after the exchange period has ended.

While the J-2 visa rejection rate averages at around 6% for Nigerian applications, it is essential that you provide complete and correct information.

Among the main J-2 visa rejection reasons are missing or incorrect documents, failure to prove your relationship or financial status, or failure to convince the interviewers that you intend to return to your home country after the exchange program has ended.


You will need the following documents for your J-2 visa application:

  • Interview confirmation letter
  • Valid passport (at least six months from expiry)
  • DS-160 confirmation barcode
  • Visa application fee payment receipt
  • Each applicant’s Form DS-2019
  • Copy of J-1 visa holder’s DS-2019 and other immigration documents
  • Proof of relationship status (such as marriage certificate or birth certificate)
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover living expenses
  • Recent passport-style photographs

Fees and Processing Time

Your application will only start processing once you have paid your visa application fee. This is a one-time non-refundable and non-transferrable payment of $185 per applicant, which remains valid for a year. You may pay online or with cash at your bank.

If you applied for a J-2 visa at the same time as the J-1 visa, they will usually be processed together which may take one or two weeks. If you are applying later, processing may take around 30 days, but the exact time might vary.

Our expert team is dedicated to providing you with the support you need to secure the J-2 Visa and make the most of your time in the United States.

How Can IAS Help?

Filing a US visa petition can be a stressful process and getting it wrong may lead to months of delay. Seeking professional advice can make this easier and prevent unnecessary complications.

Our friendly immigration lawyers can:

  • Review your eligibility for J-2 visa status
  • Help you prepare for your application interview
  • Find the best visa options for you and your family members

You can visit our office in Lagos, Nigeria, or call us at +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929 to find out more about how we can assist you on your way towards a successful US visa application.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents will appear here.

Frequently Asked Questions

You will need a valid travel signature on your Form DS-2019 from the OIA. Make sure your passport, visa, and DS-2019 do not expire while abroad. Travelling outside of the country for over 30 days may impact your visa.

While the J-2 visa cannot be extended on its own, it is subject to any changes made to the J-1 visa. A sponsor may decide to extend the duration of the exchange program.

Visitors on J-1 and J-2 visas are expected to leave the US within 30 days after the exchange program has ended. You may be able to apply for a migrant visa or a green card based on family or employment reasons. If you are subject to a two-year home residency requirement, you will need a waiver to do so.

Related Posts

Architectural building with Canadian flag on top
17 May 2024

Open Work Permit Canada for Nigerians

Canada has a growing economy that allows immigrants to explore different career Opportunities. Nigerian citizens who wish to work in Canada can be granted an open work permit provided the employee and employer meet the eligibility requirements.
For further information on how to apply for an open work permit, contact The Immigration Advice Service (IAS) at +23413438882 and +44 (0) 3316300929. Our immigration lawyers are ever ready to help you with the application process.

Read Article
Silver, antique Canadian coin
17 May 2024

Canada Visa Requirements for Nigeria

If you are a Nigerian looking to go to Canada, you must apply for a Canadian Visa to work, visit or study there.

Read Article
Two friends standing together on street in America
17 May 2024

Easiest Way to Get American Visa from Nigeria

If you’re a Nigerian waiting to visit the US, you’ve probably heard about an easy way to get an American visa. However, there’s no easy visa; you must meet the necessary requirements.
For more information about applying for an American Visa from Nigeria, including support and advice about the process, or any other queries you might have, then call our immigration experts today at +23413438882 and +44 (0) 3316300929 or contact us online.

Read Article
Nigeria welcome sign on white arch
17 May 2024

Entry to the UK from Nigeria

To live and work in the UK, you will need a visa. This guide will give you all the information you need about the type of visa you should apply for and other criteria you need to consider when making an application for entry to the UK from Nigeria.

Read Article
Nigerian man wearing purple coloured shirt
17 May 2024

How Much Is Priority UK Visa in Nigeria?

If you are applying for a UK visa to either stay short-term or settle there, you can apply to fast-track your visa application from Nigeria if you need to obtain a visa at short notice.
Immigration Advice Service (IAS) are available to advise you on the different fees and processing times depending on your visa and what level of priority you require. Call us today on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929 or you can contact us online.

Read Article
Student stepping outside, through glass door
17 May 2024

Study Gap for UK Student Visa from Nigeria

You may want to take a break from your studies before applying to study in the UK; but do study gaps impact your UK Study visa and do UK universities offer courses for international students?
Immigration Advice Service (IAS) can help you apply for a Study visa in the UK and provide advice on your study gap. Call us on +44 (0) 3316300929 and +23413438882, or message us online.

Read Article

Get in touch with our team

Learn about our professional services and find out how we can help.

Contact Us