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O-2 Support Personnel
O-2 visas are offered to support personnel of O1 Visa holders in the fields of athletics, entertainment, motion picture, and television production. This status is not applicable to personnel in the sciences, business, or education.
Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are permitted to accompany you to the United States, under O3 status. The petitioner should file a petition on their behalf. Your dependents must prove immediate relation to you. Though they are not allowed to work while in the U.S., dependants may attend school or college.
Application Process O-2
The petitioner must file a petition with USCIS for the O-2 visa. The petitioner should file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with the USCIS office listed on the form instructions. An O-2 alien must be petitioned for in conjunction with the services of the O-1 artistic or athletic alien. The petitioner may not file Form I-129 more than one year before the O nonimmigrant will begin employment. To avoid delays, Form I-129 should be filed at least 45 days before the date of employment.
The petitioner must submit Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, and the following documentary evidence:
If the O-2 petition is for support of an individual with extraordinary ability in athletics or the arts, the consultation must be from the appropriate labor organization; or If the O-2 petition is for support of an individual with extraordinary achievement in motion pictures or television, the consultation must come from an appropriate labor organization and a management organization with expertise in the skill area involved.
Exceptions to the Consultation Requirement: If the petitioner can demonstrate that an appropriate peer group, including a labor organization, does not exist the decision will be based on the evidence of record.
See above for details on Agents.
Evidentiary Criteria for O-2
The evidence should establish the current essentiality, critical skills, and experience of the O-2 beneficiary with the O-1 beneficiary and that the beneficiary has substantial experience performing the critical skills and essential support services for the O-1. In the case of a specific motion picture or television production, the evidence should establish that significant production has taken place outside the United States and will take place inside the United States and that the continuing participation of the O-2 beneficiary is essential to the successful completion of the production.
Once the visa petition is approved for O-1/O-2 by USCIS, the beneficiary can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate for the visa. Department of State (DOS) establishes visa application processing and issuance fees.
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