Wolfsdorf Rosentahl LLP

O-2 Visas for Accompanying Foreign Nationals of O-1 Visa Holders


Who Is Eligible?

A foreign national who is coming to the United States temporarily for the purpose of accompanying and assisting in the athletic or artistic performance of a foreign national who has been granted an O-1 nonimmigrant visa may be granted an O-2 nonimmigrant visa. The O-2 visa applicant must have critical skills or experience with the principal foreign national, or must be an integral part of the actual performance. In the case of an O-2 foreign national who will work in a motion picture or television production, he or she must have skills and experience with the O-1 foreign national which are not of a general nature, and which are critical, either based on a pre-existing and longstanding relationship, or because significant production will take place both inside and outside of the United States, and the continuing participation of the foreign national is essential to the successful completion of the production. The O-2 visa applicant must have a foreign residence that he or she has no intention of abandoning.

How To Apply

The employer may file a petition with the USCIS Service Center having jurisdiction over where the job will be performed. If the job requires the foreign national to work in different locations, the petition must be filed with the USCIS Service Center that has jurisdiction in the area where the petitioner is located. If a foreign employer working through a U.S. agent files on behalf of the foreign national, the petition must be filed with the Service Center that has jurisdiction in the area where the foreign national will first work. Consultation with a labor organization with expertise in the foreign national’s skill area is required for an O-2 foreign national accompanying an O-1 foreign national. In the case of a foreign national seeking entry for a motion picture or television production under an O-2 visa, consultation with a labor organization and a management organization is required. The opinion must describe the foreign national’s essentiality to and working relationship with the O-1 foreign national. It must further state whether there are available U.S. workers who can perform the support services, and it must address the foreign national’s skills and experience with the O-1 foreign national, and whether the foreign national has a pre-existing, longstanding working relationship with the O-1 foreign national, or whether significant production will take place in the U.S. and abroad, and if the continuing participation of the foreign national is essential to the success of the production.

Duration of the Visa

An O-2 visa may be valid for the period necessary to accomplish the event or activity, but must not exceed three years. As is the case with O-1 visas, extensions may be obtained one year at a time.

Status of Spouse and Minor Children

A spouse and unmarried minor children of an foreign national who holds an O-2 visa are eligible for O-3 visas. They may not accept employment while in the United States on an O-3 visa.

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