An O1 visa is available for those individuals who have extraordinary ability and have demonstrated excellence in their field. Individuals who qualify for O1 visas can come to the United States with their spouses and children. Spouses and children are issued O3 visas.
In order to qualify for an O3 visa, one must prove that they are the spouse of an O1 visa holder and must provide sufficient evidence to prove this fact. In addition, you must not be inadmissible based on your criminal history or on health grounds. There are two filing options available for an O3 visa based on whether you are in the United States or in another country.
If you are already in the United States, you can file your O3 petition along with your spouse’s O1 visa petition. The petition will be filed by the employer sponsoring your spouse’s petition. If you are already on a valid independent nonimmigrant status, you can file to change your status to O3 prior to your current status expiring.
If you are outside the United States, then you cannot file a petition until after your spouse’s O1 petition has been approved. Evidence of this approval will be used as part of your application. You will have to follow the O3 visa guidelines applicable to the consulate or embassy you are applying from.
Just because your spouse is granted an O1 visa does not mean that your O3 visa will be automatically approved. You must provide sufficient documentation establishing your marriage as well as showing that you meet all other eligibility requirements. You may have to appear at the consulate or embassy for an in-person interview as well.
Once your application is approved, the length of your O3 visa is the same as the length of your spouse’s O1 visa. O1 visas are good for three years with the opportunity to apply for an unlimited number of one-year extensions. If your spouse applies for an extension, you may apply as well. Unfortunately, spouses on an O3 visa are not permitted to work in the United States. In order to work, you would have to change your status to a work visa.
If you are applying for an O3 visa, you may want an experienced immigration attorney to help you through the process. At Serving Immigrants, Inc., we have the experience and the knowledge to help you submit a successful application. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.