The US O2 visa is defined for foreigners entering the United States temporarily to work. In other words, people who are going to accompany O1 visa holders as assistants must apply for an O2 visa. ” Who is eligible for the US O1 visa” describes the requirements of this visa. In the following, our primary focus is on the requirements of the O2 visa, the application process, costs, extension, how to obtain work authorization, and so on.

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US O2 Visa

What is the US O2 visa?

This visa is for people accompanying the holders of the O1 visa. O2 visa holders have the following advantages:

  • Their dependents can come to the US by obtaining an O3 visa.
  • Visa holders can enter and leave the United States as many times as they want.
  • Holders of the O2 visa can also enroll in part-time academic programs.

Holders of the O2 visa can only work for the O1 principal holder and must prove that they are temporarily in the United States.

What are US O2 visa requirements?

If you want to qualify for this visa, you must consider the following:

  • You must play a vital role in the performance of the O1 visa holder.
  • You need to prove that your skills and experience are unique to you and that other people cannot do what you do.
  • You are only allowed to work for an O1 visa holder, and you cannot have another employer even if you find a job position related to your skills and experience.
  • You should note that this visa is a non-immigrant and temporary status. So you have to show that you will return to your country after completing your work.

How to apply for an O2 visa?

Since O2 visa is a type of work visa, part of the steps must be done by the US employer, then the applicant must initiate the visa application process. Note that the employer is not the O1 visa holder.

Actions are taken by the employer

The employer who intends to hire O1 and O2 visa holders must first complete Form I-129, Application for Nonimmigrant Worker, and submit it to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Submitting this form indicates that the O2 visa applicant intends to work in the United States as an assistant to the O1 visa holder. The employer must submit this form to the USCIS at least 45 days prior to initiation of employment, but not earlier than six months.

There is a petition fee for completing this form and submitting it to the USCIS, which varies annually. The US employer must pay this fee. The employer must also submit documents with Form I-129, proving that the visa applicant has a supporting role in the O1 visa holder’s performance and that he or she has sufficient skills and experience in this regard. These documents are:

  • A letter is written by the management organization or the certified labor organization that the O2 visa applicant is proper for the job position. The letter also indicates that there is no staff available in the United States who can perform the duties of an O2 visa applicant. This letter should mention the unique skills and experiences of the O2 visa applicant and their role in advancing the O1 visa holder’s performance.
  • The contract concluded between the O1 visa holder, and the O2 visa applicant must be submitted. This contract can be written or oral. If the contract is oral, a summary of the critical points raised should be provided to the USCIS.
  • The description of job duties to be performed by the O2 visa applicant is another document that will confirm the applicant’s eligibility. This task description should include details such as the start date of the employment and the list of events.

It will take some time for the appeal and supporting documents to be processed by the USCIS. If the USCIS approves the employer’s petition, Form I-797, a Notice of Action will be issued. The O2 visa applicant can then begin the visa application process.

Actions to be taken by the applicant

1. Completing the DS-160 Form

This form is essentially a nonimmigrant visa application form that you can download and complete online. This form mainly contains questions about the purpose of your trip to the United States. When completing this form, you can also attach your photo. After submitting the form, a confirmation page will appear for you, which you must save. This is part of the documents you must submit to the embassy.

2. Pay the visa application fee

The application fee for all petition-based permissions is $190, which is paid by the applicants. In some cases, you will have to pay for visa issuance. The need to pay this fee is determined based on your country’s relationship with the United States.

3. Schedule your interview

All immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants must be interviewed at the embassy. You must schedule a visa interview. Since the embassies’ workload is variable, we recommend that you make this appointment as soon as possible. When the interview is scheduled, you will receive a letter on which the date of the interview is written, and you must bring it with you on the interview day.

4. Prepare the necessary documents

The documents you must submit to the embassy for an O2 visa are:

  • A valid passport
  • A photo
  • Confirmation page of DS-160 Form
  • Interview confirmation letter
  • Receipts of payments
  • Copy of your contract with the O1 visa holder and previous contracts you had with him/her.
    The Form I-797
  • Evidence of your specific skills related to the performance of the O1 visa holder
  • Evidence that you will return to your home country after your contract expires
  • If you plan to bring your family members to the United States on an O3 visa, you must prove your relationship with your family members. These documents can be a birth certificate (in the case of children) and a marriage certificate (in the case of a spouse).

If you want to immigrate to the US as a university professor, read our article.

5. Participate in the interview

You must bring your documents with you on the day of the interview. The immigration officer will ask questions so that he or she can check your eligibility for the visa. You must answer all the questions directly, completely, and honestly. Remember, you need to prove that you do not intend to stay permanently in the United States and return to your country when you have finished your work.

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How long does it take to evaluate the documents and issue the O2 visa?

The processing time of documents and issuance of an O2 visa depends on the workload of the embassy. On average, the issuance of O visas takes about two to three months. If you need your visa application processed faster, you will have to pay $ 1,225 as a premium processing fee to be notified of the visa result within two weeks.

How long is the O2 visa valid?

The validity of the O2 visa is determined based on the validity of the O1 visa, which does not exceed three years.

Can O2 visa holders extend their visas?

If the holder of the O1 visa wants to stay in the United States for a longer period and needs you, you can petition for an extension. If your request is approved, the USCIS can extend your visa for one year.

If during your stay in the US, you find another O1 visa holder to accompany you, you can change your employer. The new employer must submit a new petition to the USCIS. You can also work for more than one employer at the same time, in which case employers must file petitions to the USCIS.

Can an O2 visa holder receive a Green Card?

Since in the application process of an O2 visa, you need to prove that you do not want to permanently stay in the US and return to your home country, it is a bit difficult to get a Green Card. If you’re going to obtain a Green Card, you must first change the status of your visa to a dual intent visa, such as H1B.

Can O2 visa holders bring their dependents to the US?

Yes, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of O2 visa holders can come to the US by obtaining an O3 visa. As long as an O2 visa holder is allowed to stay in the US, they can also live in this country. The application process for the O3 visa can be done simultaneously with the O2 visa or afterward. Holders of the O3 visa are not allowed to work, but they can study.

How long does it take to evaluate the documents and issue the O2 visa?

The processing time of documents and issuance of an O2 visa depends on the workload of the embassy. On average, the issuance of O visas takes about two to three months. If you need your visa application processed faster, you will have to pay $ 1,225 as a premium processing fee to be notified of the visa result within two weeks.

O2 visa work permit

When the O2 visa holder wants to work in the US, the employer needs to send a completed version of Form I-129 to USCIS. There are strict rules regarding the working condition for O2 visa holders. He/she cannot work for any employer. The applicant can only support the O1 visa holder.

The O2 visa holder can accompany the O1 visa holder who works in one of the artistic or athletic performance fields. This is while the people who are in the US under an O1 visa and work in the fields of science, education, or business, the O2 visa holders cannot accompany them.

Bear in mind that an O2 work visa is only temporary, and you can not rely on it for the long term.

US O2 visa cost

The fee or cost for a US O2 visa varies in each step you apply for the visa. The basic I-129O filing fee is $705 or $460 which you have to pay. The cost for the DS-160 form is $190, and you also have to pay $30 for biometrics.

If you need a fast decision on your application, you can use the Premium Processing service, but it costs you $1,225.

O2 visa interview questions

The questions on an O2 visa are the ones asked on almost every US visa. But there could be some particular questions about this visa, as follows:

  • The job of the O2 visa holder
  • Your relationship to the O2 visa holder
  • The reason you need to accompany your partner
  • The length of your stay in the US.
  • Accommodation in the US
  • Your accommodation in your home country
  • How or who will cover the expenses of your trip
  • Can you decrease the duration of your stay
  • Your relatives or friends in the US
  • Have you been to the US before?
  • What is your family’s tie to returning to your home country?
  • Where will you work in the US?
  • How many people will accompany you on your trip?
  • Your job or occupation in your home country
  • Your family in your home country
  • Have you arranged accommodation in the US?
  • Your backup plans for work or study in other countries besides the US
  • Did you receive help from someone else in your application
  • The places you want to visit during your stay
  • The guarantee that you will come back to your home country
  • How or who will take care of your property or accommodation in your home country?

Let’s sum up…

In this article, we covered issues such as the requirements of the O2 visa, the application process, applying for work authorization, visa extension, and processing time. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other US visas as well as ways to immigrate to other countries. If you have experience in obtaining a visa, share it through the comments section so that other readers can learn from your experience, make better decisions, and make fewer mistakes. Sharing your experiences will be invaluable to other readers and us.

On the Visa Library website, We look forward to hearing your questions and suggestions and will respond as soon as possible.


You should change your status to get a green Card.

As long as the O1 visa holder can stay in the US.

No, it’s about 3-4 months.

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1 Comment

  1. Karen says:

    I have got a US O2 visa and another job offer. I was considering it until I saw this article. Man, I could have lost my visa! Thx a lot.