Bringing dependents to Binghamton

If you plan to bring your spouse and/or children with you to the United States while you are at Binghamton University, the ISSS will need to create DS-2019 documents for each dependent.


  • J-2 dependents must be the legal spouse or unmarried child (under age 21) of the J-1 Exchange Visitor 
  • Scholars must show proof of funding for each dependent.

How to apply

Email the required information and documentation to 

  • Dependent’s full name, date of birth, city and country of birth, country of citizenship, and relationship to you
  • Passport biographical page for each dependent
  • Financial documents showing funding of at least $700/month for a spouse and $500/month for each dependent child in addition to $1,700/month for the J-1 scholar. If your funding will be provided by a friend or family member, they will need to write and sign a letter of support in addition to providing a copy of their bank statement. All financial documents must clearly show the full name of the account holder, bank name, date, account number, current balance, and the currency.

Receive the new documents

You will receive an email from ISSS when new DS-2019s have been issued for you and your dependents. These DS-2019s will be emailed to you as digitally signed pdf documents. Your dependent will need to print and sign the DS-2019 in ink before applying for a visa or entering the U.S. 

Have your dependent apply for J-2 status

After your dependent has their I-20 or DS-2019, they will need to apply for J-2 status. If they are currently outside the U.S., they should apply for a J-2 visa at the U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country. If they are in the U.S. they will either need to leave the U.S. to apply for a visa and return in their new status, or they may apply for a change of status within the U.S. If you have questions about either of these options, speak with an ISSS advisor during walk-in advising hours. 

Important information

Health insurance

All J-2 dependents must be enrolled in health insurance through the ISSS. You can find more information on our Health Insurance page. If you are adding J-2 dependents after you arrive in the U.S., you should contact or visit the ISSS during walk-in advising hours.  

Childcare and school

The school year in New York State begins the first week of September and runs through late June. New York state law states that all children who will be 6 years of age or older prior to December 1 must be enrolled in school. There is no tuition for children attending public school in New York State. School districts are determined by your place of residence; contact the school district directly for registration information. If you have children under the age of five, you may have to pay for qualified day care or babysitting. There is a licensed childcare center on the Binghamton University campus. Childcare in the Binghamton area can be quite expensive and have wait lists, so you should plan ahead if you will need care for young children. 


Dependents in J-2 status may apply for work authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). J-2 dependents must wait until they have received an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS before beginning any employment. 

J-2 status and travel issues

J-2 status is dependent upon the J-1 Exchange Visitor; therefore, a J-2 dependent should not remain in the U.S. for an extended period of time while the J-1 is outside the country. If a J-2 dependent will be traveling outside the U.S., they must have a current DS-2019 with a valid travel signature, a valid J-2 visa, and a passport that is valid at least six months into the future.