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Bringing Dependents on Your O1 Visa: What You Need to Know

November 23, 2023

Understanding the O1 Visa 

Before we dive into the specifics, let's do a quick recap of the O1 visa. This visa is designed for individuals with exceptional abilities in various fields, including science, arts, education, business, or athletics. It's a prestigious visa category that allows you to live and work in the United States. We dive into that visa more here.

Who are considered dependents?

Dependents, within the context of the O1 visa, usually refer to your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. If you have a spouse or children, they are the ones we're talking about.

The good news is that you can bring your dependents along with you on your O1 visa journey. They will typically be granted O3 visas, which are specifically intended for the immediate family members of O1 visa holders.

O3 visas are generally granted for the same duration as your O1 visa. For instance, if your O1 visa is valid for the standard three years, your dependents' O3 visas will also be valid for those three years.

Eligibility for Dependents

The eligibility criteria for O3 visa holders are pretty straightforward. Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 automatically qualify for the O3 visa if you’ve already being considered for the O1. There's no need for them to prove any extraordinary abilities or achievements, unlike the primary O1 visa holder.

To apply for O3 visas, you will need the following documents:

  • Passport for each dependent
  • A copy of your O1 visa approval notice
  • Evidence of the family relationship (marriage certificate for your spouse, birth certificates for your children)

A step-by-step guide to the application process

  1. Include them in your O1 application. When applying for your O1 visa, you can simultaneously file for your dependents' O3 visas. It's an efficient way to streamline the process.
  2. Your dependents will typically need to attend an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country, just like you did for the O1 visa. Processing times can vary, so it's advisable to check with the respective embassy or consulate for precise information. You can usually schedule your interviews at the same time.

Working on O3 Visas

It's important to note that O3 visa holders are not automatically authorized to work in the United States. If your spouse or children want to work or study in the United States, they will need to apply for separate work or student visas.

So yes, you can indeed bring your dependents on your O1 visa journey, and the process is relatively easy. Your exceptional abilities have opened doors to exciting opportunities, and now, your loved ones can be a part of this incredible journey with you.

If you need more help navigating your O1 or O3 visas, we’re here for you. Plymouth Street will make sure you’re fully prepared for the application process and show you every step of the way. Don’t hesitate to reach out here.