A type visas for Diplomats and other Foreign Government Officials

A1, A2, and A3 visas are nonimmigrant visas that allow foreign nationals to enter the United States for diplomatic or official government business. A1 visas are for diplomats and government officials, while A2 visas are for their spouses and children. A3 visas are for government employees of foreign governments and their families. All three types of visas have different requirements and privileges. For example, A1 visa holders are not allowed to work in the United States, while A2 and A3 visa holders can work if they obtain an employment authorization document from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. A1 visa holders also have diplomatic immunity, which means they cannot be arrested or detained by US authorities. A2 and A3 visa holders do not have this immunity. All three types of visas allow the holder to travel freely within the United States.  However, A1 visa holders must maintain their primary residence outside of the United States, while A2 and A3 visa holders can live permanently in the United States if they maintain their status.

 

 

Diplomats and Officials Requiring A-1 Visas - Examples:

  • Head of State or Government, regardless of the purpose of travel

  • Official coming to serve at a foreign embassy or consulate in the United States, such as an 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 Requiring A-2 Visas - Examples:

  • Full-time employee assigned by that government, coming only to work at a foreign embassy or consulate in the United States, to perform duties which take place at an embassy

  • Government official representing your government, coming to the United States based on written request of your country to perform official, government related duties for not more than 90 days

  • Foreign military members stationed at a U.S. military base or assigned to a foreign embassy or consulate in the United States

  • Staff of European (EU) and African Union (AU) delegation representatives

  • Immediate family members of an A-2 visa holder

 

Travel Purposes Not Permitted on A-1 and A-2 Visas - Examples:

  • Government officials coming to perform non-official or non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, must apply for the appropriate visa category for the specific travel purpose, such as a B-2 visa for tourism. (Note: A Head of State or Government must travel on an A-1 visa regardless of the purpose of travel.)

  • Local government officials representing their state, province, borough, or other local political entity require visitor (B) visas.

United States Department of State Link for Application Process and further information