Diplomats and Foreign Government Officials can apply for either the A-1 of A-2 visa, nonimmigrant visas that enable foreign officers of permanent diplomatic missions or consular posts to be admitted to the US to engage in official, governmental activities.
There are a number of steps to obtain the visa that vary according to the US Embassy or Consulate where you apply.
Additional documents to have prepared include: Passport, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, photo, and a diplomatic note with confirmation from your country of your status and purpose of your travels.
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In order to be eligible for either the A-1 or A-2 diplomatic visa, you must adhere to one of the following:
- Be an immediate family member of an A-1 diplomatic visa holder
- Be a representative of a foreign state that has formal diplomatic ties with the U.S.
- Officers of diplomatic missions (e.g., ambassadors, public ministers, career diplomats, or consular officers).
- Traveling to the US on behalf of your national government to participate in official, governmental duties or services.
Diplomats and Foreign Government Officials Who Require A-1 Visas
- Head of State or Government, regardless of the purpose of travel
- Official coming to serve at a foreign embassy or consulate in the US (e.g., Ambassador or Consul)
- Government minister or cabinet member coming for official activities
- European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) delegation representatives
- Immediate family members of an A-1 visa holder
Officials and Employees Who Require A-2 Visas
- Full-time employee assigned by that government, coming only to work at a foreign embassy or consulate in the US to perform duties which take place at an embassy
- Government official representing your government, coming to the US based on written request of your country to perform official, government related duties
- Foreign military members stationed at a U.S. military base or assigned to a foreign embassy or consulate in the US
- Staff of European (EU) and African Union (AU) delegation representatives
- Immediate family members of an A-2 visa holder
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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