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Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can apply for a dependent visa stamp to accompany you to the United States. Dependents in the U.S. can go to school but not work. Except for those with J-2 dependent status. J-2 spouses and J-2 dependent children ages 14-21 may apply for a work permit (juveniles should consult local labor laws). However, obtaining a work permit can take four to six months. Any dependent J-2 dependent who intends to work in the United States must first determine if a separate visa is more suitable for them. For example, spouses seeking their own postdoctoral positions must apply for their own J-1 status.