O-2 Visa (Essential Support Personnel of O-1 Visa Holders)

  • O-2 visa is suitable for essential support personnel of O-1 visa holders

The O-2 work visa is a nonimmigrant visa which offers essential support personnel of O-1 visa holders in the fields of athletics, motion picture, entertainment, and television production to enter the U.S. and engage in official activities. This status is not applicable to personnel in the sciences, business, or education.

Eligible Criteria

To be eligible for an O-2 visa, one must prove that:

  • O-2 visa holder is an integral part of the actual performance of the O-1 principal visa holder.
  • Having critical skills and knowledge that are not of a general nature and cannot be performed by other individuals.
  • Will provide support to the principal O-1 visa holder. For example: In the world of athletics and support personnel that would most usually put into use for the O-2 visa includes trainers, coaches, umpires, referees, and interpreters.

O-2 visa is normally valid for 3 years just like O-1 visa, or as long as it is considered essential to finish a competition or to finish a work. Additionally, extensions may be allowed in 1 year.


Following are some limitations on the O-2 visa:

  • You have to keep a foreign residence that you do not determine to abandon.
  • You live and work temporarily in the United States.
  • Work only for the O-1 principal visa holder to whom you provide support.

The O-2 Visa must be petitioned by a U.S. employer, U.S. agent, or a foreign employer through a U.S. agent. Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are allowed to accompany you to the U.S. under the O-3 status. The petitioner should file a petition on their behalf. Your dependents must affirm immediate relation to you, and will not be permitted to work, though they are not permitted to work while in the U.S., dependants may attend school or college.

Source of Information: www.uscis.gov