By Attorney Rachel Wool

Did you know you may already qualify for the O-3 Visa?

The O-3 dependent visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows the spouse or child of an O-1 or O-2 visa holder to enter and live in the United States. Children must be under the age of 21 and unmarried to be eligible for the O-3 visa, and while it allows you to enter, reside and study in the United States for the duration of the O-1 visa (up to three years) you are not permitted to work in the U.S.

For those who do not know, the O-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for an individual who possesses extraordinary abilities in the arts, sciences education, business or athletics. Job titles include but are not limited to: Dancers, Actors, Models, Directors, Producers, Magicians, Social Media Influencers, Makeup Artists, Fashion Designers, Authors, Writers, Researchers, Tennis Professionals, etc. Meanwhile, the O-2 is for individuals who will accompany an O-1 to assist in a specific event or performance.

The O-3 visa may be an ideal option if you are hoping to travel with your O-1 or O-2 visa holding family member(s). To qualify for the O-3 visa you must prove that you are the immediate family member of an O-1 or O-2 visa holder, and provide evidence that they hold that specific visa.

Applying for The O-3 Visa is simple!

Your spouse or parent’s U.S. employer must submit a “petition” on Form I-129 to USCIS. If you or your spouse/parent are already lawfully in the United States, that application can generally ask that your status be adjusted to O-3. If you are outside the country, then you will need to wait until the underlying petition is approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

After approval, you will need to apply for the visa by visiting your nearest U.S. consulate (excluding Canadians). You can have the O-1 or O-2 visa holder submit the application on your behalf, and wait to be sure it is approved before filing for your O-3 visa, or your entire family can file visa applications at the same time.

Depending on your home country, the costs of applying for an O-3 visa includes a visa petition fee to USCIS and a machine-readable visa (MRV) processing fee of $190 (paid at the U.S. consulate). You may also need to pay a visa reciprocity fee, depending on agreements between your country and the United States. Please visit the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs website to see what this fee will entail.

The required documents you will need include a copy of the O-1 approval notice from your spouse or parent’s Form I-129, a birth or marriage certificate that proves your relationship to the O-1 or O-2 visa holder, evidence of your completed DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application, as well as one color photo, U.S. passport-style. [Some of these steps do not apply to Canadians. It is always important to consult with an Immigration Attorney before you begin your process, as requirements may differ depending on the country you are from.]

The O-3 visa can be issued for up to three years maximum, and runs concurrent to the O-1 or O-2 visa holder. Additionally, it can be renewed on an unlimited basis. While having an O-3 visa does not guarantee you a path to permanent residency, it can potentially allow you to find your footing and explore your options through other visas.

When pursuing any visa it is important to understand that having a criminal record may hinder your ability to earn said visa, as you run the risk of being deemed “inadmissible” to an immigration officer. It is always vital to be honest with your attorney regarding any criminal arrests or convictions so that they can best serve your needs throughout the process.

For any questions regarding the O-3 visa process, or if you are interested in exploring other visa options in the United States, please reach out for a consultation: at D’Alessio Law Group.

The aforementioned article is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice.

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