1. What is O-2 work visa?
The O-2 work visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows essential support personnel of O-1 visa holders in the fields of athletics, entertainment, motion picture and television production to enter into the U.S. and engage in official activities. This status is not applicable to personnel in the sciences, business or education.
2. Who is eligible for O-2 visa?
To be eligible for O-2 visa, you must prove that you:
- Are an integral part of the actual performance of the O-1 principal
- Have critical skills and experience that are not of a general nature and cannot be performed by other individuals
3. What privileges do I enjoy on O-2 work visa?
On O-2 visa, you may:
- Receive your visa quickly
- Travel freely in and out of the U.S. for the term of the visa
- Apply for O-3 visas for accompanying relatives
4. What are the limitations of O-2 visa?
On O-2 visa, you must:
- Prove that you maintain a foreign residence that you do not intend to abandon
- Prove that your work in the U.S. is temporary
- Work only with the O-1 principal to whom you provide support
5. How long can I stay in the U.S. on O-2 work visa?
You may stay in the U.S. on O-2 visa for the period of time determined to be necessary to assist the O-1 principal to accomplish the event or activity, not to exceed three years. You may be admitted to the U.S. for the O-2 visa validity period, plus a period of up to ten days before the validity period begins and ten days after the validity period ends.
6. Can I extend my stay while on O-2 visa?
Yes, you may apply for extension of stay on O-2 visa. Extensions may be authorized in increments of up to one year to continue or complete the same event or activity for you were admitted into the U.S. plus an additional ten days to allow you to get your personal affairs in order.
7. Can I appeal a denial of extension of stay on O-2 status?
No, you may not appeal a denial of extension of stay on O-2 visa.
8. Can I study on O-2 work visa?
Yes, you may engage in part-time study while maintaining O status.
9. Are there any travel restrictions on O-2 visa?
No, the Department of State does not impose any restrictions on the number of times you may travel in and out of the U.S.
10. What are the steps to obtain O-2 visa?
There are three steps to obtaining an O-2 visa:
- Obtaining an advisory opinion from a peer group, labor organization, or management organization
- USCIS approval
- Visa issuance by the consulate
11. How do I apply for O-2 work visa?
The U.S employer must file Form I-129, Application for Nonimmigrant Worker, on your behalf with the Regional Service Center having jurisdiction where the services will be rendered.
12. What type of documentation must I submit with O-2 petition?
Petitions for O foreign nationals must be accompanied by:
- Evidence specified in the particular section for the classification
- Copies of any written contracts between the employer and yourself. If there is no written contract, a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which you will be employed
- 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
- Written advisory opinion(s) from the appropriate consulting entity or entities
13. What documents can serve as evidence for O-2 petition?
- Contract between O-1 principal and yourself setting out terms and conditions of services to be rendered
- Contract between O-1 principal and yourself showing business relationship between O-1 principal and yourself
- Proof of prior service to O-1 principal and skills in assisting such a foreign national
14. What are the documents required to apply for O-2 visa?
The documents required for O-2 visa are:
- A filled-in visa application Form DS-156
- One recent photograph two inches square (50mm x 50mm) 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 U.S. 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
15. How do I qualify as an O-2 foreign national accompanying an O-1 artist or athlete of extraordinary ability?
To qualify for O-2 visa, you must:
- Be coming to the U.S. to assist in the performance of the O-1 principal
- Be an integral part of the actual performance
- Have critical skills and experience with the O-1 principal which are not of a general nature and which are not possessed by a U.S. worker
16. How do I qualify as an O-2 foreign national accompanying an O-1 principal involved in a motion picture or television production?
You must have skills and experience with the O-1 principal, which are:
1.Not of a general nature
a.Based on a pre-existing longstanding working relationship or
b.With respect to the specific production, because significant production (including pre and post-production work) will take place both inside and outside the U.S.
3.Essential for the successful completion of the project
17. What are the consultation requirements for O-2 foreign national accompanying O-1 principal of extraordinary ability?
Consultation with a labor organization with expertise in the skill area involved is required.
18. What are the consultation requirements for O-2 foreign national accompanying O-1 principal involved in motion picture or television production?
Consultation with a labor organization and a management organization with expertise in the skill area involved is required.
19. What should the advisory opinion state in case of O-2 foreign national accompanying O-1 principal of extraordinary ability?
The O-2 advisory opinion should:
- Describe your essentiality to, and working relationship with the O-1 principal
- State whether there are available U.S. workers who can perform the support services
20. What should the advisory opinion state in case of O-2 foreign national accompanying O-1 principal involved in motion picture or television production?
The O-2 advisory opinion should:
- Address your skills and experience with the O-1 principal
- State whether you have a pre-existing longstanding working relationship with the O-1 principal or whether significant production will take place in the U.S.
- State whether your continuing participation is essential to the successful completion of the production
21. On what grounds can my O-2 petition be revoked?
Your O-2 petition may be revoked if the:
- Capacity in which you were originally employed as mentioned in the petition has changed
- Statement of facts contained in the petition was not true and correct
- Terms or conditions of the approved petition are violated
- Approval of the petition involved gross error
22. Can I appeal a denial or revocation of O-2 petition?
Yes, you may appeal against a denied or revoked petition on notice under 8 CFR part 103.
Note: Automatic revocations may not be appealed.
23. How can I change from another nonimmigrant status to O-2 in the U.S.?
When you are already in the U.S., you can change your nonimmigrant status to O-2 if you qualify as an O-2 foreign national. This option is not available if you entered the U.S. without inspection or overstayed your authorized term of admission under the present status.
24. On what visa category can my dependents enter into the U.S. while I am on O-2 visa?
Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of twenty-one may apply for O-3 visa status in order to accompany you to the U.S.
25. Can dependents of O-2 work?
No, dependents in O-3 status may not work.
26. Can I work for more than one employer on O-2 visa?
Yes, if you work for more than one employer at the same time, each employer must file a separate petition with the USCIS.
27. Can I change employers on O-2 work visa?
Yes, you may change employers on O-2 visa, however, your new employer must file a new petition and request an O-2 visa extension of stay with the USCIS Service Center having jurisdiction over the new place of employment.
Note: An O-2 foreign national may change employers only in conjunction with a change of employment by the O-1 principal.
28. What is the employer's liability if the employment of the O-2 visa holder is terminated?
If the employment is terminated for reasons other than voluntary resignation, the U.S. employer is liable for reasonable cost of return transportation to your last place of residence prior to entry into the U.S.