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American O2 Visa Guide: Requirements, Costs, and Timelines

The O2 nonimmigrant visa category is for aliens who are seeking to enter the United States temporarily and work by accompanying and assisting the artistic or athletic performance of an O1 alien of extraordinary ability.

In this article, we will look at the requirements and eligibility for O2 Visa status and visa processing time, limitations, and how to apply for O2 Visa.

Moreover, we will refer you to other of our articles on O1 visas that are also applicable to O2 petitions for a better understanding of O2 Visa.

What is American O2 Visa?

The O2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa category that is designated for foreigners who want to enter the US temporarily. It is created specifically for people accompanying aliens with excellent performance in fields such as entertainment, athletics, television production, motion picture, and so on. That is to say, the O2 visa is dependent on the status of the O1 visa holder.

Privileges for O2 Visa

There are certain privileges associated with an O2 Visa which are:

  • When you apply for an O2 visa, one of the main privileges is that you will most likely get your application approved fast. There are other types of visas that can be more cumbersome to get. This would be one advantage.
  • Another potential benefit open with an O2 visa would be the fact that you can travel as you wish in and out of the US for the entire duration of the visa. This gives you peace of mind and freedom.
  • As a holder of the O2 visa, you are entitled to apply for O3 visas on behalf of any accompanying relatives.

O2 Visa Limitations

This Visa has some limitations just like some other Visas. The limitations are this, you are required to demonstrate that you have a steady, permanent foreign residence. You should also prove that you don’t intend to abandon it and remain in the US instead. Aside from this, you should demonstrate that your plans in the US are temporary – and this includes any plans related to work.

Moreover, as stated by the law, you must work with the O1 principal. As a holder of the O2 visa, your role in the US would be to provide support. So, this is a condition you have to meet.

O2 Visa Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for O2 Visa, you should play an essential part in the work or performance of the O1 visa holders. This would mean that you should showcase the skills and experience necessary for the work of the O1 visa holder.

Another requirement linked with this specific visa category would be that you are expected to work with people that have an O1 visa. That is to say, even if you have the skills and expertise to work in a different domain, the law doesn’t allow you to do so. You should also demonstrate that your work in the US is temporary, as you already have a permanent residence in a different country.

How to Apply for an O2 Visa

In terms of the application process for the O2 visa, you should know that your US employer is required by law to file an official document called form I-129 and also referred to as Application for Nonimmigrant Worker. The employer has to do this on your behalf for your petition to be approved.

There are also some documents you are expected to provide when applying for the visa. This is the visa application form DS-156. Your passport should also be valid for the entire duration of your stay in the US.

You must demonstrate your intention to return to your home country. This should be supported by documentation. An agreement indicating the terms and conditions of the service between the O1 visa holder and the O2 visa applicant is required. The professional nature of your relationship should be demonstrated as well.

Processing Time for O2 Visa

The processing time for O2 Visa varies depending on the country from where you’re applying. The workload of your home country’s embassy will matter in this respect as well. But the standard processing time would be between two to three months. There is also the alternative of having your application processed faster. But this comes at the cost of an additional fee. If the situation is urgent, you might consider paying the fee.


How long does an O2 visa last?

3 years. Once your O2 visa is issued, you will have the same duration of stay as your principal O1 holder, which is an initial period of 3 years. If the work requires additional time to complete, you have the option to extend your O2 visa an unlimited number of times in 1-year increments.

How Much Does an O2 Visa Cost?

As part of the application process, you need to pay a visa fee, which is $460. You have to pay this to continue with your application. Make sure you keep the receipts indicating that you have made the payments, as they are necessary.

Is it possible to extend O2 Visa?

It is possible to extend your O2 visa, as long as your employer agrees to file the petition on your behalf. In addition to that, note that the extension is granted in yearly increments since the O2 visa is considered to be employer-specific.

How long can I stay in the U.S. on an O-2 work visa?

Usually, the time frame you can stay in the US is decided based on the time necessary for assisting the holder of the O1 visa. Usually, though, the duration of the visa isn’t higher than three years. On the other hand, the holder of the O1 visa may consider applying for an extension.

Can I appeal a denial of the extension of stay on O-2 status?

You can not. This is not possible for the holders of the O2 visa.

Can I study on an O-2 work visa?

Yes, you may still preserve your O status and pursue part-time studying.

Are there any travel restrictions on O-2 visas?

There are no laws that limit the number of times you may travel in and out of the US as a holder of the O2 visa. That is to say, you have complete freedom in this respect.

On what grounds can my O-2 petition be revoked?

Several situations could lead to the revocation of your O2 petition. One scenario would be if the original capacity that made you eligible for the visa has changed. On a different note, if you’ve made any untruthful claims in your petition, you might also be prone to revocation.

If the terms and conditions of your O2 visa haven’t been respected, then revocation is also likely to happen. Aside from this, another ground on which your petition might be revoked is if the initial approval of the petition was due to an error.

Can I appeal a denial or revocation of the O-2 petition?

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

How can I change from another nonimmigrant status to O-2 in the U.S.?

You can change your status in the US, granted that you meet the requirements and qualify as an O2 foreign national. If you overstay your visa in the US, this might not be available to you, nor would it be available if you entered the country without inspection.

On what visa category can my dependents enter the U.S. while I am on an O-2 visa?

We already mentioned beforehand that as a holder of the O2 visa, you are entitled to bring dependents with you, due to the existence of the O3 visa. This type of visa is available to dependents under 21 years old, who can accompany you to the US.

Can dependents of O-2 Visa holders work?

Dependents of O-2 Visa holders are O3. According to the law, the holders of the O3 status cannot work.

Can I work for more than one employer on an O-2 visa?

Yes, the law doesn’t have any restrictions in this respect. Nonetheless, to qualify for this, every employer is required to file an individual petition with the USCIS.

Can I change employers on an O-2 work visa?

As a holder of the O2 work visa, you have the right to change employers. Nevertheless, in this case, the new employer must file another petition. Concurrently, one has to apply for an O2 extension of stay with the USCIS.

What is the employer’s liability if the employment of the O-2 visa holder is terminated?

If the employment is terminated, due to reasons excluding resignation, then the US employer is responsible for covering the costs of the return to the home country.

Can I get an SSN with an O2 visa?

Applying for an SSN requires a personal visit to a Social Security Administration (SSA) office within the United States. Any artist who receives work authorization from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (such as an “O” or “P” visa) is eligible to receive an SSN.


You can now see that O2 Visa does not require a long protocol to get. So make your move towards getting O2 Visa and don’t forget to reach out to us at if need be.

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