O 2 Visa

Essential support personnel accompanying O-1 visa holders

The O 2 visa is designed for key personnel to accompany O-1 visa holders to the US and support with their performance. It is limited to employees of O-1 visa holders in the fields of arts, motion picture, television productions or athletics.

As an O 2 applicant, you will need to show the adjudicator that you possess critical skills and experience that cannot be readily provided by a US worker, and which are essential to the O-1 athlete or artist’s performance.

The challenge for O-2 applicants is evidencing both the critical nature of their role and skills, and showing these would not be available within the US labor market.

NNU Immigration are here to help!

NNU Immigration are specialists across all classes of US visa, including the O 2 visa.

The application rules for the O 2visa program are complex, and the eligibility criteria and requirements for supporting documentation stringent.

With exceptional knowledge and insight into the visa application processes, we advise non-US nationals and their dependents on available US visa and immigration options, including the O 2 visa, providing full support in submitting applications to the relevant US authorities.

US immigration policy is undergoing a period of considerable upheaval; we can advise on the prevailing impact of any changes in US visa rules that may impact the entry routes available to you.

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O-2 Visa FAQs

What is the O 2 visa?

The O 2 visa caters for individuals intending to travel with an O-1 visa holder to the US in an essential support personnel capacity.

The O-1 visa holder must be recognized in the fields of either the arts, motion picture, television productions or athletics for their support staff to qualify for the O 2 visa. Accordingly, O-1 visa holders in sciences, business or education cannot be accompanied by O 2 visa holders.

O 2 visa holders are restricted to working for their O-1 visa employer while in the US.

How long does an O 2 visa last?

The visa will be granted for the same duration as the principal O-1 visa, up to maximum of 3 years. During the visa validity, you can travel in and out of the US freely provided your reason for travel is part of your support for the O-1 visa holder.

What are the visa eligibility criteria?

O 2 visa eligibility is linked directly to the visa of the principal O-1 employer. As above, the O-1 holder must be deemed extraordinary in either the arts, motion picture, television productions or athletics.

The working relationship between the principal visa holder and their support personnel must be pre-existing and longstanding.

The O 2 applicant must show they are an integral part of the O-1’s performance, possessing essential skills and experience to the O-1’s performance.

Critically, the application must also show that the O 2 applicant’s role cannot be readily undertaken by a US-resident worker.

You will also need to show that your work in the US is temporary and that you intend to leave the US when the performance requirement is complete.

The criteria can be challenging to evidence to USCIS. Taking professional guidance can ensure you are covering all requirements that the adjudicator will be looking at through comprehensive documentation.

 

What supporting documents will I need?

The O 2 visa requires extensive supporting evidence. The specifics will be determined by the facts of your case, but generally, you would need copies of your employment contract with the O-1 visa holder to prove the nature of your working relationship meets the visa requirements. You will also need to obtain an advisory opinion from a peer group, labor organization, or management organization verifying that your skills and role are critical to the O-1 visa holder’s performance and whether there are US resident workers able to undertake the same service. A complete itinerary of the events you will be supporting with is also required.

Can I bring dependents?

Your dependents can apply to travel with you under the O-3 visa. Dependents include your spuouse and children under 21.

Can I extend the O 2 visa?

It is possible to apply to extend the O 2 visa in increments of up to one year per extension. This must however be in relation to the same performance, event or activity that your initial visa relates to.

Changing employer or multiple employers?

It is possible to work for more than one employer in the US under the O 2, but each employer must file a separate petition.

To change employers, a new petition to extend the visa will need to be filed by the new employer.

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