In today’s world, the establishment of political relations among countries is a must. Therefore, it is quite evident that some arrangements should be made to facilitate the journey of government officials between countries. In the US,  type A non-immigrant visas are dedicated to this purpose. In this section, we will explain the definition of the US A visa, its variants, how to apply, costs, and other details.

What is the US A visa?

The US diplomatic visa is granted to politicians, ambassadors, and government officials as well as their accompanying delegation. In other words, those who want to come to the United States to participate in political negotiations on behalf of their nations should petition for a visa. Therefore, if foreign government officials travel to the United States for purposes other than government and political measures, they are not allowed to apply for a diplomatic visa. Diplomatic visa holders cannot start a business in the US or participate in academic programs. Because, as mentioned, their goal is to perform their government duties in the US. Irrespective of the purpose of the journey, the chief of the state must enter the US under an A visa. This visa is similar to the US G nonimmigrant visa. Illegal and criminal acts, terrorism, espionage, or the transfer of confidential information will result in the revocation of a diplomatic permit. The visa can also be canceled if the State Department determines that entry of a diplomatic visa holder would have detrimental political impacts on the country.

US Type A Visas for Government Officials and their families

What are the requirements of the US diplomatic visa?

The US A visa types include:

  • A-1:  for senior government officials with their families
  • A-2: for other government staff and their families
  • A-2: NATO1-6: for foreign military personnel in the united states
  • A-3: for crews and staff of visa holders A-1 and A-2

Some people who should apply for the visa A-1 include:

  • Chief of state (Apart from the intention of traveling to America, this senior government official always needs the A-1 visa)
  • Foreign ambassadors who arrive in the US to work in their consulates
  • Foreign ministers and cabinet members such as the vice president coming to the US to perform government missions
  • Delegation of the European Union and African Union
  • Close family members of those who have A-1 visa

Some people who should apply for the visa A-2 include:

  • People who work full-time at foreign embassies in the US.
  • Foreign government officials who come to the US to carry out government activities based on a written order from their home country
  • Foreign Army forces in some circumstances
  • The staff of the delegation of the European Union and African Union
  • Close family members of those who have A-2 visa

Some people who should apply for the visa A-3 include:

  • Personal staff of A-1 and A-2 visa holders such as their servants

How to apply for a US diplomatic visa?

The process of US A visa application is similar to other US visas, but with a slight difference. To get the US visas, the completion of a form called DS-160 is one of the primary steps. US A visa applicants should also start from this point. Form DS-160 is a US visa application that has many options regarding the purposes of people traveling to the US. When the form is completed and submitted, a confirmation page will appear that you will need to save. A-1 and A-2 visa holders must complete another type known as DS-1648 if they reapply for this visa.

A-1 and A-2 visas applicants must submit the following documents to the US embassy as part of the pre-visa process:

  • A valid passport: The time validity of your passport must be at least six months longer than your stay in the United States, although some countries are exempt from this restriction.
  • Form DS-160 confirmation page
  • Photo: The standards of photographs required for a US A visa are the same as for other visas. The photo must be uploaded when submitting the online form application (DS-160).
  • A diplomatic note: This note contains information such as the applicant’s position in the government, the purpose of travel to the United States, description of tasks and, the period of the mission in the country. If dependents are accompanying the applicant on this trip (such as the family members), their details should also be included in the note. A similar note is also required for those who intend to obtain an A-3 visa.

To find out more about other essential documents that must be provided in the US visa application process, please refer to the http://www.usembassy.gov. The process of the US A visa application for family members of government officials is similar to what was explained for visa A1. Family members include spouses and children under 21 years old who have not married.

Is there an interview for the US diplomatic visa?

Unlike other visas, people who are recognized as eligible for the A-1 and A-2 visas do not need to be interviewed. However, in some cases, the US embassy may have reasons to conduct an interview. This law does not apply to applicants of A-3. It means personnel of the A visa holders must plan for the US A visa appointment, before receiving the A-3 visa. The consular officer assesses the eligibility of applicants for the A-3 visa. The applicant is scheduling the interview at the US consulate in his/her country. During the interview, a written contract should be presented to the consular officer to indicate that the applicant will receive a sufficient salary from the employer. The applicant must also prove that he/she will perform the tasks defined in the contract.

How long does it take to evaluate the provided documents and issue a US diplomatic visa?

It is also worth noting the time of document processing, and the issuance of the US diplomatic visa is very short.

How much does it cost to petition for a US diplomatic visa?

In general, people who are eligible to receive the US A visa types are exempt from paying the US visa application fee.

Can US diplomatic visa holders bring their families to the US?

As mentioned, holders of the US diplomatic visa can bring their families and some private employees to this country under the A2 and A3 visas.

What are the opportunities for family members and dependents of the US A visa holders in the United States?

As stated above, people with diplomatic visas can bring their family members, including spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 to the United States. They can work temporarily in the US after receiving the Employment Authorization Document or EAD via USCIS and can also continue their studies (EDA is a temporary work permit).

Can US diplomatic visa holders apply for the Green Card?

People with diplomatic visas can get a Green Card, but the process is a bit complicated. To get a Green Card, it is necessary to resign from government duty first. Then you can apply for a Green Card through marriage or investment. If the U.S. A visa holder is in jeopardy by returning to his own country, he can petition for a Green Card.

Let’s sum up…

This section provided an overview of the most important aspects of the US diplomatic visa. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other US visas as well as ways to immigrate to other countries. In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences in comments is a great help for applicants.

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  1. Nikiki says:

    Is it likely that the US official requires further documents?

    • support says:

      Yes, depending on your case and the country you apply from, the authorities could require further documents for your application process.