Another nonimmigrant designation, the O-3, usually is for the dependents – such as the spouse and unmarried younger than 21 offspring of O-1 Visa and O-2 visa holders. It lets them accompany the latter to the US. On this visa, the holder can live, travel, and study in the country.
However, O-3 visa applicants must apply at the same time the principal applicant does. And they aren’t allowed to work on this visa since there is no O3 Visa Social Security Number.
O3 Visa Requirements
Besides the requirement that a potential must be an O-1 spouse or children, there are other conditions they must meet. The O-2/1 visa of the principal applicant should be valid, for one. Secondly, proof of the relationship between the O-2 or 1 visa holder and the O-3 applicant is necessary.
O-3 Visa Benefits
With an approved O-3 visa, a nonimmigrant can reside within the US along with their family. They may also leave the country or enter it when they require. Also, while, there is no O3 Visa Work Permit, the individual can enroll for a part- or full-time education.
How Long is an O-3 Visa Valid For?
Since the dependents accompanying anyone on the basis of an O-2 or O-1 visa, they can only stick around until that visa is valid. Usually, that means three years, but if the principal applicant extends their stay, so can the O-3 visa holder. They can file Form I-539 for such an extension and do so for any number of times. Mostly, the duration of the increment period is one year.
Who Can Be A Sponsor?
Again, the O-3 visa holder is allowed into the US because of an O-1 or 2 visa holder. Therefore, both of them will have the same sponsor, i.e., the latter’s employer. Besides a US employer, O-1 visas may also be sponsored by an agent. In that case, too, the sponsor for their dependents will be the agent.
How Much Does it Cost?
Relatively inexpensive, the Visa O3 procedure begins with the filing of I-129. The entity sponsoring the O-1/2 visa they’re linked with pays $460 for that. Should they want to speed up the process, a fee of $1,225 will be required. Either the O-3 or their sponsor may pay it. The subsequent step, i.e., filing the DS-160, costs the applicant $190. Biometrics have a tag of $85.
What About Family Members?
The O-3 visa holder can petition for their dependents to come to the US with them, as well. The duration of stay for both will be the same. The procedure for application is similar too, and, we’ll cover it in detail below. Briefly, though, the dependents must submit copies of their documents, as well as that of the principal applicant, i.e., the O-1 or O-2 Visa holder.
O3 Visa Application Process
It may be broken down into these steps:
Step #1 Petition
The sponsor – employer or agent – completes Form I-129 and hands it to USCIS. They also include proof of your relationship with the principal applicant. If you’re the spouse of an O-1 visa holder or O-2, the evidence will be a marriage certificate. For children, a birth certificate will do.
After a USCIS review session, you will discover if they approve of your petition. If it’s a yes, the sponsor can proceed with the I-797. Now, a consular process will begin at your end.
Step #2 DS-160
Start by submitting Form DS-160 online and keep the confirmation code you get safe for later.
Step #3 Visa Fee
Paying the visa fee and any other amount mandatory in your country comes next. Keep the receipt safe as well because you’ll need it for the Embassy.
Step #4 Visa Interview
Next, you’ll have your interview at the US Embassy. For it, you must bring the code, receipt, a confirmation letter you get while scheduling it, and the Form I-797. Aside from those, you’ll also require:
- Photograph and passport
- Proofs that your O-1/2 applicant’s visa is valid and of how you’re related to them
O3 Visa Processing Time
Like with the other two designations, you will most probably get your O-3 visa in 4 to 12 weeks. But, as we mentioned above, you can pay extra and expedite it through premium processing. Typically, the first filing of the petition takes place between six months and 45 days of the expected arrival date.
O-3 Visa to Green Card
An O-3 visa isn’t the typical route that immigrants take to getting a green card. That’s because, by definition, it is for nonimmigrants who will be in the US temporarily. You’ll only be here for as long as your principal applicant has to be to complete their employment contract.
However, the situation for certain O-1 visa holders becomes different if they apply through the EB-1 program. The said program is similar to an O-1 visa with one notable exception, i.e., the holders can get permanent residency in the United States. Now, if the O-1 visa holder you’re linked to gets approved for the EB-1 visa, so will you – and your offspring.
But this path will not be open to you if your principal applicant is in the US on an O-2 visa. That’s so because to get approved in the first place, they must prove they’re only temporarily in the US. If they cannot get the green card, then there is one other way left to you.
Even on an O-3 visa, you can search for an employer who will be willing to sponsor you. But this time, they will petition for an H-1B visa on your behalf and not an O-3.
Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!
When you contact LA’s best immigration lawyer, you don’t just increase your chances of success. You also make sure that your case will achieve a quick and easy resolution. They’re familiar with the visa application procedures. They also know what documentation you’ll need. In short, they can uncomplicate the process for you. So, don’t risk your chance at an O-3 visa!