J-1 Health Care & Insurance

Health care in the United States can be very expensive. As a J-l, you are required to have health insurance that meets certain requirements of the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the State of Florida , and Florida International University for you, your spouse, and all children who are listed on the DS-2019. The insurance policy must include medical evacuation and repatriation benefits in addition to major medical.

FlU has an insurance plan that meets these requirements, which J-l Students anddependents are required to purchase. (Click here to read insurance information)

Medical insurance for dependents must be purchased prior to issuance of the DS-2019.

NOTE: Graduate students who have been issued a graduate assistant contract will have medical insurance coverage through the Graduate School.

(Click here to read Graduate School insurance information).


J-2 Dependents
Only the spouse and unmarried minor children (under 21 years old) of a J-1 student are eligible to enter the United States in J-2 dependent status.  Each dependent must receive their own DS-2019 if they wish to obtain a J-2 visa and enter the U.S. in J-2 status.

Benefits of J-2 Status 
J-2 dependents may remain lawfully in the U.S. as long as the J-1 student is maintaining status.  They are allowed to study part-time or full-time in the U.S.   Also, J-2 dependents mayapply for temporary work permission from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) – see below for more information.

Requesting a DS-2019 for a Dependent 
If your dependents have not already been issued their own DS-2019 documents and you wish to bring them to the U.S. in J-2 status, you must request a DS-2019 for each dependent.

Entering the U.S. in J-2 Status 
Dependents are eligible for admission to the United States in J-2 status when they either accompany the J-1 student into the U.S., or wish join the J-1 student who has already been admitted into the U.S. in J-1 status.  Dependents must each present a valid DS-2019, a valid J-2 visa (except citizens of Canada ) and a passport that is valid at least 6 months from the date of entry.

Changing Dependents to J-2 Status When They Are Already in the U.S. 
If you are a Florida International University J-1 student and your dependents are already present in the U.S. in another nonimmigrant status, ISSS will assist you to change your dependents to J-2 status.  However, if they have imminent plans to travel out of the U.S. before their current nonimmigrant status expires, they should follow the above instructions for Entering the U.S. in J-2 Status.

J-2 dependents may apply to the USCIS for work authorization.  J-2 employment income cannot be used to support the J-1 student , but only to support the family’s customary recreational and cultural activities and related travel, etc.  The USCIS may grant J-2 work permission for up to four years or until the program end date of the J-1’s current DS-2019, whichever is shorter.  Although a recommendation is not required from ISSS, we are happy to assist the dependents of our J-1 students’ dependents with the application process.  Please, check J-2 work authorization.

Extension of Stay for J-2 Dependents 
A J-2 dependent must receive a new DS-2019 any time the J-1 student’s DS-2019 is amended or extended.  A J-2 dependent may otherwise remain in the U.S. so long as the J-1 student maintains status.

Other Family Members 
If other members of a J-1 student’s family, including children over the age of 21, wish to enter the U.S. temporarily to visit the student in the U.S. , they may enter on a B-2 tourist visa.  Florida International University J-1 students may request a letter of invitation from ISSS to send to a relative to assist them with applying for a B-2 visa.