O2 Visa

SUMMARY OF O2 VISA

An O-2 Visa is a US work visa granted to the support staff of a O-1 Visa holder. The two applications must be linked, and applied for at the same time. An O-2 alien has all the benefits of an O-1 visa holder, in that they are able to work, live, and travel in the US. However, they are completely dependent on the O-1 Visa holder, and if the O-1 Visa they applied with becomes invalid, so does the dependent O-2 Visa. O-2’s are hard in that you have to apply to USCIS and prove talent and a history with the O-1 Visa holder. However, the level of talent required is lower than that of an O-1 Visa applicant. A good example of an O-2 Visa holder would be a makeup artist who was accompanying an Actor to a film shoot. Due to the extensive procedural requirements of the O-2 Visa, using an experienced O-1 Visa Attorney is highly recommended. Contact us to see how we can help you win your case.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE

1. You are accompanying an O1 Visa applicant.
2. Your job is in a support role.
3. You are an integral part of the work being done in the O1 Visa petition.
4. You have a history of working with the O1 Visa Applicant.
5. You possess talent in your field of work.
6. You have permanent ties to your home country.

There is no O-2 Visa for the fields of Business, Education, or Science.

LIMITS

▪ You must do only the work you applied to do
▪ You are completely tied to the O1 holder, and lose your visa when they lose theirs
▪ You must have intention to return home at the end of employment
▪ You cannot try to become a citizen while on this Visa
▪ It will not lead to permanent residency

PROCESS

1. Compile your application packet with your lawyer.
2. Send out your application packet to USCIS. The decision times vary, but generally 2-6 weeks.
3. If necessary, answer any RFE’s you receive with your lawyer.
4. Receive your approval notice in the mail.
5. Get your Visa from an Embassy
               A. Locate a US Consulate (also known as embassy) that you can get to easily.
               B. Make an appointment for an O Visa.
               C. Complete the DS-160 Form online.
               D. Schedule your appointment and pay online.
               E. Go to Visa Interview.
               F. Get Visa Stamped Passport in Mail.

6. That's it! Welcome to the US!

You should get an appointment time 1-2 weeks from when you book it online. At the appointment you have an interview. You will find out if you were approved at the end of the interview, and your passport will be mailed back to you with a “stamp” in it about 1 week after this interview. That stamp is your O-2 Visa.

GOING TO THE US

The O-2 approval notice will have a start date for your work. You can travel to the US 10 days before that start date to “get settled”. The O-2 Visa requires that you have permanent ties to your home country, and because of this, if feasible, it would be advisable to purchase a return ticket home.

COSTS

Attorney Fees $2000
USCIS Application Fee $460
Premium Processing Fee* $1225
Visa Issuance Fee Depends on Country, usually between $0-100

*Optional, restricts USCIS response time to two weeks.


O2 VISA LAW

To qualify for an O2 visa you must be an alien with permanent ties to your home country, applying to accompany an O1 applicant in the field of arts or athletics. F1, F2. You must file a separate Visa Petition from the O1 holder you are accompanying. F3. Although you must file separate visa petitions, the O2 petition must be associated to, and filed at the same time as, the O1 petition.F4. You must be an integral part of the work being done, have talented skills in your own right, and have a history of work experience with the O1 holder. F5. The O2 does not exist for the fields of science, business, or education. F6.

Although the procedural filing of the O2 is the same as the O1, the contents of the O2 Visa Petition are different.

Your Petition Must Include:
Form I-129. F7.
A contract between the employer and the alien. F8, F9
An advisory opinion. F10.

Your Petition May Include:
Letters from former employers certifying alien's extraordinary ability. F11.
Letter from present employer certifying alien's extraordinary ability. F11.
Letters from experts in the field certifying alien's extraordinary ability. F11.

Requirements of O2 Visa
Include evidence which establishes:
(1) That the alien is essential to the O1 petitioner's planned job. F12.
(2) That the alien has critical skills in their field. F12.
(3) That the alien has substantial experience with the O1 petitioner. F12.


F1. “Under section 101(a)(15)(O)(ii) of the Act, an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he or she has no intention of abandoning may be classified as an accompanying alien who is coming to assist in the artistic or athletic performance of an alien admitted under section 101(a)(15)(O)(i) of the Act.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(1)(i).

F2. “These classifications are called the O-1, O-2, and O-3 categories, respectively.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(1)(i).

F3. “O-2 aliens must be filed for on a separate petition from the O-1 alien.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(2)(i).

F4. “An O-2 alien must be petitioned for in conjunction with the services of the O-1 alien.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(4)(i).

F5. “Be an integral part of the actual performances or events and posses critical skills and experience with the O-1 alien that are not of a general nature and which are not possessed by others.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(1)(ii)(B)(1).

F6. “Such aliens may not accompany O-1 aliens in the fields of science, business, or education.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(4)(i).

F7. “A petitioner seeking to classify an alien as an O-1 or O-2 nonimmigrant shall file a petition on Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(2)(i).

F8. “Copies of any written contracts between the petitioner and the alien beneficiary or, if there is no written contract, a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the alien will be employed." 8 CFR 214.2(O)(2)(ii)(B).

F9. “An explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(2)(ii)(C).

F10. “A written advisory opinion(s) from the appropriate consulting entity or entities.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(2)(ii)(D).

F11. “Affidavits written by present or former employers or recognized experts certifying to the recognition and extraordinary ability, or in the case of a motion picture or television production, the extraordinary achievement of the alien, shall specifically describe the alien's recognition and ability or achievement in factual terms and set forth the expertise of the affiant and the manner in which the affiant acquired such information.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(2)(iii)(B).

F12. “The evidence shall establish the current essentiality, critical skills, and experience of the O-2 alien with the O-1 alien and that the alien has substantial experience performing the critical skills and essential support services for the O-1 alien.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(4)(ii)(C).