O2 Visa – Everything You Must Know

O2 Visa

Are you bothered about how to get an O2 visa? Have you been searching for information on O2 Visa requirements? Or are you trying to help a family or friend get information on O2 Visa eligibility? 

 If either of these describes you, then we have good news for you. The search is over! In this article, we will share information on how to get an O2 Visa, O2 Visa requirements, and lots more! 

What is an O2 Visa?

The O2 visa is a designated non-immigrant visa category for foreigners who wish to enter the United States on a short-term basis.

Specifically, it is for people who accompany aliens with outstanding performances in areas like athletics, film, entertainment, T.V. production, and so on. The O2 visa depends on the status of the O1 visa holder.

In other words, the O2 visa can be described as a non-immigrant visa category that exists for aliens who are seeking to temporarily enter the US and work by accompanying and helping the artistic or athletic performance of O1 aliens with extraordinary ability.

How to get an O2 Visa?

Before you begin the O2 Visa application process, remember that your US employer, by law, has to file an official document.

This official document is described as “Application for non-immigrant workers.” The reason your employer does this on your behalf is so your petition gets approval.

Also, there are documents you have to provide when applying for the O2 Visa; A visa application form (DS-156) and a passport valid for your entire stay in the US.

Other important documents include:

  • A visa interview letter
  • Proof of your skills and experience related to the O1 visa holder’s job
  • A photograph that meets the Photo Requirements for a U.S. visa
  • Receipts of all your fees
  • DS-160 confirmation code
  • Form I-797
  • Proof of your contract with the O1 visa holder and previous contracts with them

Furthermore, you must show an intention to return to your home country. This intention should be backed by documentation.

You must also have an agreement showing the terms and conditions of the service between the O1 visa holder and yourself. Again, the professional nature of your relationship should show as well. 

O2 Visa Eligibility

As stated in the earlier parts of this article, people who accompany and help aliens with outstanding abilities and intend to enter the United States on a short-term basis are eligible to apply for an O2 Visa.

Hence, it is possible to say your O2 Visa eligibility chances are higher if you fall within this category of people.

O2 Visa Requirements

Like any other visa, the O2 Visa has certain requirements those who are eligible must be able to meet up to.

The first of these O2 Visa requirements is that you should play an important role in the work or performance of the O1 visa holders. 

This implies that you should possess the skills and experience required for the work of the O1 visa holder you wish to assist. 

Next on our list of O2 Visa requirements is that you will work with people who have already obtained an O1 visa. 

Hence, even if you have the skill or expertise that enables you to work in a different domain, the law doesn’t permit you to do so. 

Again, know that you must show that your work in the United States is a temporary one. This is because you have already obtained permanent residence in a different country.

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O2 Visa Processing Time

The O2 Visa processing time varies from country to country. The country you apply from determines how long it takes. Also, how much work your home country’s embassy has on their hands plays a role.

However, the standard processing time is between two to three months. Nevertheless, it is possible to process your application a bit faster by paying extra fees. People who consider this option are usually those who have an urgent need for it.

This helps the applicant get a response on whether they get the visa or not within two weeks.


In this section of this article, we will share some O2 Visa benefits with you.

  • Your application has a high chance of getting approval. Unlike the other types of visas, the O2 visa is a bit easier to obtain.
  • You can travel in and out of the United States with it. However, this is only applicable during the entire duration of the visa. 
  • Holders of O2 visas can apply for O3 visas on behalf of any accompanying relatives.


Just like most visas, the O2 Visa has certain limitations.

  • You must have a stable, permanent foreign residence and have no intention of leaving it.
  • You have to show that your plans in the US are temporary.
  • As required by law, you must work using the O1 principle.

How Much Does an O2 Visa Cost?

To apply for the O2 Visa, you have to pay a fee of $190. 

Apart from this fee, other related fees may apply depending on the country you reside in. You have to pay these fees before you can continue with the application process.

A the same time, ensure that the receipts of the payments you make are kept safely as they are important and also show you have paid your fees at the Embassy.

O2 Visa Extension

Extending your O2 visa is possible. However, your employer must agree to file this petition on your behalf.

Furthermore, it would help if you understood that the extension is granted in yearly increments. This is because the O2 visa is considered to be employer-specific.

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Frequently Asked Questions

For more information about O2 visas, go through the answers to these frequently asked questions:

  • Can one appeal a denial of the extension of stay on their O2 status?

For holders of O2 Visas, this is not possible.

  • How long can I stay in the U.S. on an O2 Visa?

How long you can stay in the U.S. is dependent on how much time you need to assist the O1 visa holder. Usually, the duration of this visa is not longer than three years.

On the other hand, O1 Visa holders could still consider applying for an extension.

  • Is it possible to work for more than one employer on an O2 visa? 

The law does not have any restrictions in this regard. Nevertheless, every employer is required to file an individual petition with the USCIS to qualify for this.

  • Can I change employers on an O2 work visa?

You have the right to change employers as a holder of the O2 visa. But, your new employer must file another petition. Also, remember that you have to apply for an O2 extension of stay with the USCIS.

  • Can O2 visa holders bring dependents?

Every O2 visa holder has the liberty to bring their dependents with them to the US. Dependents consist of their spouse and unmarried children who are less than twenty-one years of age.

An O3 visa will be given to them to stay in the US, however, this visa will be valid for as long as the O2 Visa holder stays in the US.

The applications for the O3 visa can be made simultaneously with the O2 visa or at a much later time. Please note that the O3 Visa does not permit the dependents to work. 

  • Can I appeal a denial or revocation of my O2 Visa petition?

You have the right to appeal against a revoked or denied the the petition, according to the 8 CFR part 103.

  • Are there any travel restrictions on an O2 visa?

Currently, no laws limit how often one can travel in and out of the US with an O2 visa. Thus, you have absolute freedom in this regard.

  • Can I get a Green Card with my O2 visa?

When submitting your application, you are required to show proof of your strong ties to your home country. Also, you are required to state that you will return as soon as your work is completed.

With this in mind, getting a Green card is difficult. However, you can gain permanent residence if you change your visa from an O2 to a dual intent visa, like the H-1B visa. With this, you can apply for a green card.


To begin with, applying for a visa is not an easy thing to do. But, when you know what to do, the process becomes a significantly simple one.

Therefore, before you apply for an O2 visa, consult with and retain an experienced immigration attorney. This attorney will assist you by assessing the proposed employment offer and the credentials of the intended petition beneficiaries.

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