What is the O3 Dependent Visa?
The O3 Visa is one of the three permits in the O tier, which includes:
- O1 Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Abilities;
- O2 Visa for key personnel and assistants of O1 Visa holders;
- O3 Visa for the immediate family members of O1 and O2 Visa holders.
In other words, with this visa, your family can either accompany you in the U.S. or visit you for a fixed period of time. While in the U.S. on an O3 Visa, eligible applicants can seek an adjustment of status and obtain a different permit to stay in the country to work or study.
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What is the O3 Dependent Visa?
The O3 Visa is a nonimmigrant permit designed for the dependent spouses and children of O1 Visa holders. It is also suitable for families of O2 Visa holders.
Holding an O3 Visa means that your eligible family members will be allowed to reside in the U.S. as well as engage in full-time study. However, they cannot seek employment.
Furthermore, they cannot stay in the U.S. longer than the principal O1 or O2 Visa holder, that is three years. However, they can apply for an adjustment of status to remain in the U.S. longer under a different permit.
What are the O3 Visa requirements?
To qualify for this permit, you must meet the following O3 Visa requirements:
- Be the immediate family member of an O1 or O2 Visa applicant or holder. This means that only dependent spouses or unmarried children under the age of 21 can apply for this permit. If you do not meet this requirement, you may still be eligible for a visa. Differently, you can enter the U.S. under a Visitor Visa;
- Be able to prove your kinship with a main O Visa holder through valid marriage or birth certificates or adoption documents;
- Do not hold any criminal record.
What is the O-3 Visa application process?
You can apply for an O3 Visa only when the primary O1 or O2 petition has been approved. At this point, you can file a Form I-129. However, if your family is already in the U.S. on a different visa and wishes to changes its status to an O3 Visa, you must file a Form I-539.
When your I-129 petition is approved, you can file your application form. Your O3 Visa application process will start only after you have paid your nonrefundable petition fees. In some instances, you may be asked to pay an additional reciprocity fee, depending on your country of origin.
Before your visa is issued, you will be summoned for an interview at your local U.S. Consulate. Although this may not take more than a few minutes, it is one of the most critical steps of your O3 Visa application process. You need to show to the Consular officer that your relationship with the O1/O2 Visa holder is genuine and that you have nonimmigrant intent. If you hold additional evidence that you believe may be useful to prove your eligibility, you should bring them with you at your interview.
What are the required O3 Visa documents?
When you apply for an O3 Visa, you must submit the following documents:
- A copy of the Approval Notice of the main O1 or O2 Visa;
- A signed Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker);
- Birth or marriage certificates to prove your relationship with the main O Visa holder;
- Proofs of your financial situation, to show that you can sustain yourself;
- Any other document that you believe can support your eligibility.
If any of your evidence is not written in English, you will need an accredited translation.
Please note that failing to provide any of these documents will result in your application being delayed or rejected.
What is the O3 Visa validity?
As a dependent visa, the O3 permit is tied to the principal visa holder, which can either by an O1 or an O2 immigrant. Those visas are usually valid for up to 3 years, and the same validity applies to the O3 Visa.
If the principal visa holder applies for an extension, dependents can do the same by filing Form I-159 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status). Visa renewals are usually granted in one-year increments, and there is no limit to the number of extensions you can apply for.
Can I switch my status from a O3 Visa into a Green Card?
The O3 Visa is a nonimmigrant permit that cannot lead to a Green Card. When the main O Visa expires, or after three years of maximum stay in the U.S., you will need to leave the country.
However, while in the U.S., you can still seek an adjustment of status. In other words, you can use your time in the country to find an employer or an educational institution to sponsor your immigrant permit. It must be noted that you are in no circumstances allowed to work in the U.S. while on an O3 Visa. You will be able to seek employment only after you get a Work Visa.
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The O3 Visa processing time usually takes between 6 weeks to 3 months. However, if any supporting documents are missing for either the O3 Visa or the main O Visa petition, the USCIS may need more time to review your case.
Your O3 Dependent Visa is usually granted for the same period of which the corresponding O1 or O2 Visa is valid.
Extraordinary Ability permit holders may obtain extensions to their stay in increments of one year, for a total of three years. In this case, eligible O3 Visa holders may get the same allowance.
At IAS, our attorneys are passionate about helping foreign workers with particular expertise enter the U.S. Most importantly, we want to assist their families, joining them in the U.S.
If you wish to apply for an O3 Visa, one of our dedicated immigration lawyers will be happy to handle all aspect of your application process. This includes:
- Review your eligibility based on your personal circumstances;
- Help you gather the adequate supporting documents to show your kinship with the main O Visa holder;
- Liaison with the USCIS in the case of delays in your application process.
We can also offer guidance for the O1 or O2 Visa application process as well. To learn more about our services tailored to foreign workers who wish to travel to the U.S. with their family, get in touch today with our staff. You can call us on +1844 290 6312 or inquiry online.