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A-1 Diplomats

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A-1 Diplomats
A-1 Visa-Diplomats 


Diplomatic applicants must meet specific requirements to qualify for a diplomatic (A) visa under immigration law. The consular officer will determine whether you qualify for the visa. For an A-1 or A-2 visa, you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require the appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

Qualified A visa applicants traveling to the United States for assignments of less than 90 days will be issued visas annotated "TDY" (temporary duty).

Local Government and European Union Officials
Local government officials representing their state, province, borough, or other local political entity do not qualify for A visa status; they require a B visa.






How to Apply - Required Documentation

As part of the visa application process, when applying abroad, an interview at the embassy consular section is required for most visa applicants. Embassies and consulates generally do not require an interview for those applying for A-1 and A-2 visas; however, a consular officer can request an interview. Please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country for more information.

Personal employees, attendants and servants of A visa holders, that is, applicants for A-3 visas, are required to be interviewed. Additionally, as part of the visa interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly completed.

Visa application forms should be delivered to the embassy or consulate in the country in which you are a resident. Each applicant and any accompanying persons, must submit the forms and documentation as explained below:

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit our DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process.
  • An application for A, G, and NATO Visa, Form DS-1648(ONLY for A-1 and A-2 visa applicantsapplying in the U.S., including in cases of change of status, or those working at the United Nations, the DS-1648 should be submitted instead of DS-160). This application must be completed and submitted online by selecting DS-1648 Online: New Application for A, G, or NATO Visa (Applying in the United States only), and then submitting the confirmation page generated at the end of the application, affixed with the Embassy, mission, or organization seal. The non-electronic form DS-1648 is NOT accepted.
  • A diplomatic note. The diplomatic note is written confirmation by the sending government of the applicant’s status. A-3 applicants must also have a diplomatic note included with their applications to confirm the official status of employers.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions).
  • Onephotograph - You will upload either a scanned or digital photograph to your Form DS-160 or DS-1648 that meets the format requirements explained in the Photograph Requirements, under Applicants using Form DS-160 or Form DS-1648. If the photo upload function fails, continue trying to upload until the application allows you to proceed without a photo. Then, submit one 2x2 inch color photograph that meets requirements explained in the Photograph Requirements, stapled or glued to the online DS-160 or DS-1648 confirmation page ONLY if the confirmation page has an X in the box where the uploaded photo should appear. If the confirmation page includes a photo image, then the photo upload function has succeeded and no separate print photograph is required.
  • Copy of both the visa and paper Form I-94 (both front and back) for the principal visa holder required for an immediate family member applying separately from the principal visa applicant. If the principal visa applicant entered the U.S. after the automation of Form I-94, and his/her Arrival/Departure Record was created electronically, a photocopy of his/her admission stamp can be provided to the family member applying separately. Alternatively, the principal applicant may obtain a paper Form I-94 at and provide it to the family member applying separately.



Can the dependant of an A, G or NATO visa holder work in the United States on derivative status?

Dependents of A-1, A-2, G-1, G-3, G-4 and NATO1-6 visa holders may be eligible to work in the United States on derivative A, G or NATO visas. An application for employment must be made on the form I-566 to the Department of State’s Office of Protocol through the office, mission, or organization, which employs the principal alien. If the Department's recommendation is favorable, the form I-566 will be forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for action. If the application is approved, USCIS will transmit the employment authorization to the mission, or international organization. In the case of NATO dependents, USCIS employment authorization will be transmitted to NATO/HQ SACT. For further information you should either contact your mission, international organization or in the case of NATO visa holders, NATO/HQ SACT.

I am going to an international meeting/conference sponsored by an international organization; do I require an A or G visa?

If you are being sent by your government to a meeting or conference which is sponsored by an international organization, you will generally require a G visa, unless your visit will also include other official activities, such as bilateral meetings in Washington D.C. with U.S. Government officials, which would require an A visa. Additionally, a head of state, head of government, cabinet member, presiding officer of a national legislative body, or member of the highest judicial tribunal qualifies for A visa classification to represent his/her government at international meetings or conferences which is sponsored by an international organization.

I hold a diplomatic passport, and I am traveling to the United States as a tourist; do I require a diplomatic visa, or can I travel visa free?

Only heads of state or government qualify for A visas regardless of the purpose of their visit. Visa classification for others is determined by the purpose of their travel. If traveling as a tourist, you will need a B visa or if eligible, you may travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.

I am traveling on behalf of my government for less than 90 days and am a national of one of the Visa Waiver Countries. Can I travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program?

If you are traveling to the United States as an official representative of your government, you require a diplomatic visa.

I am a local government official; do I qualify for a diplomatic visa?

Diplomatic visa (A visa) status only pertains to officials traveling to the United States on behalf of their national government. Local government officials traveling on behalf of their state, province, borough or other local entity do not qualify for A visas.

I am in the armed forces; do I qualify for a diplomatic visa?

If you are from a non-NATO country and the military education or training you are to receive is being provided at a U.S. military facility (service academy, fort, base, other military installation), you may qualify for an A visa regardless of the duration of the training. If the military training you are to receive is U.S. Government-sponsored or licensed but is not provided at a U.S. military facility, you may qualify for an A visa only if the period of training is less than 90 days.

NATO military personnel qualify for NATO visas.

I am a police officer traveling to the United States on official business; do I require a diplomatic visa?

If you are a member of a national law enforcement or police agency coming to the U.S. on behalf of the national government for an official purpose (for example, to interview witnesses or in connection with an investigation), or coming for U.S. Government-sponsored training in connection with your official duties, you may qualify for an A visa.



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