As a nonimmigrant in the US, you want your family to come along with you. USCIS allows the dependents and immediate family members of an O-1 visa holder to come to the US on an O-3 visa. In this article, we will look at O-3 visas in detail.
What you should know About O-3 Visa
An O-3 Visa is granted to the dependent members in the immediate families of people who are allowed to work in the US on an O-1 or O-2 visa type. This type of visa is created by US government to allow the O-1 and O-2 visa holders to bring their children or families along with them during their work stay in the country.
It is important to note that only spouse or unmarried children under 21 of O-1 and O-2 visa holders will be granted such visas. No other person, such as parents or close relatives, will not be eligible for an O-3 visa. Also, the O-3 visa holder can live in the US as long as the principal holder, i.e., O-1 or O-2 visa holder, is there. The term of their stay in the US will depend on the term of stay of their principal person.
There are no restrictions on opening bank accounts, getting a driver’s license or taxpayer-identification numbers, or getting an American education. An O-3 visa holder can live a normal life provided that said person will not be allowed to work in the US legally. In addition, they will not be granted a Social Security Number (SSN), and they cannot apply for permanent residence without their principal applying.
Eligibility for an O-3 Visa
There is a certain eligibility criterion for an O-3 type of visa. A person applying for this type of visa must be:
- The principal visa holder must hold a valid O-1 or O-2 visa.
- You must be a spouse or unmarried children (including adopted children) under 21 years of O-1 and O-2 visa holder. Parents or close relatives will not be allowed to travel under the US visa rules.
- You should show evidence of your relationship with the principal visa holder.
Every applicant needs a passport from their country of origin, valid for at least six months beyond the permitted stay of their working spouse or parent.
How to apply for an O-3 Visa?
To apply for an O-3 visa, you can apply along with the O-1 or O-2 visa holder or after the principal person has secured their O-1 or O-2 visa at a US Embassy where you live.
Complete Form DS-160.
You can access this form at the website of Consular Electronic Application Center by signing up. The questions would be divided into four categories: personal questions, family information, work/education/training information, and security-related questions.
At the end of the form, you need to upload a digital photograph meeting the US Visa photo requirements and specifications, after which you will receive the location where you are supposed to apply for the visa. On completion, a confirmation page will appear, which you need to print and bring with you on the day of your US visa interview. Remember, there is no form fee payment; you need to pay for the US visa only. Also, the DS 160 form is valid for a period of 30 days from the day you start completing it.
Pay visa fees
You have to pay the visa fees or the issuance fee, i.e., currently $190 for the year 2021 for the O-3 visa application.
Attend your visa interview to be held at the US Embassy. Make sure to keep a copy of the receipt of the Interview Confirmation Letter since you have to carry it on the day of your interview. You have to attend the Visa Interview at the designated time at the US Embassy, where you will be asked questions about your background, education, the purpose of visit, and your relationship with the principal visa holder.
For this visa, you must prepare the following documents in advance:
- A valid passport
- One photograph (according to the US Visa Photo Requirements)
- Form DS-160 confirmation page
- Evidence of your relationship with the O-1 or O-2 visa holders
- If you are a spouse, you need a valid marriage certificate (translated, if necessary)
- For children, you can submit a valid birth certificate to prove the relationship. (translated, if necessary)
- Visa fee receipts to show that you have paid the fees.
- The interview confirmation letter
- The O-1 or O-2 visa holder’s copy of the passport
- The O-1 or O-2 visa holder’s Form I-797
- The O-1 or O-2 visa holder’s copy of the visa
O-3 Visa FAQs
Can I apply for an O-3 visa without the principal person with a valid O-1 or O-2 visa?
Ans. No, you cannot apply for an O-3 visa until and unless a principal person has a valid O-1 or O-2 visa.
Can the DS 160 form be edited after submission?
Ans. No, the form cannot be corrected once it is submitted. You can retrieve your application within 30 days and then edit it. Also, you can fill a completely new application provided that you must carry confirmation pages from both original and revised forms on the day of the appointment.
How long is the O-3 visa valid?
Ans. The term of an O-3 visa is dependent on the term of stay of the principal visa holder. It is issued for 3 years. Suppose the principal visa holder applies for an extension. In that case, you can also do the same by filing Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change nonimmigrant Status). Extensions are provided yearly, and there is no limit on how many times you can apply.
How long is the O-3 visa processing time?
Ans. It usually takes about 2 to 3 months for the processing of an O-3 visa.
What can I do if I want to work in the US after moving there with an O-3 visa?
Ans. You can apply to change your O-3 visa status to a different one if you are interested in working in the US. If approved, it will also change your dependency on the principal visa holder.
Can I apply for a green card with an O-3 visa?
Ans. If you are dependent on an O-1 visa holder, you can apply for a green card. If the O-1 visa holder qualifies for the EB-1 Green Card, their family has an O-3 visa. So, if the O-1 holder is approved for the Green Card, O-3 visa holders will also get approved.
However, if the principal visa holder has an O-2 visa, then both the principal visa holder and the O-3 visa holder must return to your home country once your visa expires.
Suppose you have any other doubts related to O-3 visas or any other visa types. In that case, you can contact Sethi and Mazaheri law firm, and our experienced immigration attorneys will contact you to assist you on your case.