The O visa category is authorized in statute at section 101(a)(15)(O) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The O2 visa is a non-immigrant visa category designated for foreigners that want to enter the US temporarily.
O-2 visas are offered to support personnel of O-1 Visa holders in the fields of athletics, entertainment, motion picture and television production. This status is not applicable to personnel in the sciences, business or education. The O2 visa is addressed to assisting people or the personnel people of the O1 visa holders.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE O2 VISA?
To qualify for the O2 visa, you as the assistant of the O1 visa holder in athletics, film, or television, must fulfil a few eligibility criteria:
- You must be a critical member of the performance or work of the O1 visa holder
- You must have the skills and experience which the O1 visa holder’s performance or work requires, which cannot be found in other workers
- You must only work with people who have a valid O1 visa and not in other jobs, even if they are related to your skills and experience
- Prove that you intend to only work in the U.S and that you have a residence in another country, so you have ties to your home country
The O-2 Visa must be petitioned by a U.S. employer, U.S. agent or foreign employer through a U.S. agent. Your petitioner should file a Form I-129 with the USCIS having jurisdiction over the state in which you intend to work. The form should be filed at least six months before you plan to begin working. More than one O-2 application may be included on the same petition, if all parties are helping the same O-1 applicant for the same events or performances, during the same period of time and at the same location.
Applicants must provide the following documents at the U.S. Consulate when applying for the O-2 Visa:
- A filled-in visa application Form DS-160.
- One recent photograph 1 & 1/2 inches square (37mm x 37mm) of each applicant, with the entire face visible. The picture should be taken before a light background and without head covering.
- A passport, valid for travel to the United States for at least six months longer than your intended visit.
- Establishment of the demonstration of nonimmigrant intent. You must prove that you will return to your home country.
- An official agreement between you and the petitioner detailing the terms and conditions of the services.
- An agreement between you and the O-1 visa holder that proves your professional relationship.
- Proof of a previous professional relationship with the O-1 visa holder.
- Proof that you are capable of assisting the O-1 visa holder.
PERIOD OF STAY
The O2 visa is normally valid for up 3 years. However, if it is granted to cover a specific event, production, or activity, the period may be less. Extensions are available in 1-year increments, and there is no limit on extensions, however the visa holder must show that they are continuing with same position or activity for which the original visa was granted.
As an O non-immigrant, you may be admitted to the United States for the validity period of the petition, plus a period of up to 10 days before the validity period begins and 10 days after the validity period ends. You are only authorized to work during the validity period of the petition.
DEPENDENTS OF O-2 VISA
Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are permitted to accompany you to the United States, under an O-3 status. The petitioner should file a petition on their behalf. Your dependents must prove immediate relation to you. Though they are not allowed to work while in the U.S., dependants may attend school or college.