A Visas

A Visas: Visas for Diplomats and Foreign Government Officials

Any diplomat or other foreign government official who is traveling to the United States to engage solely in official duties on behalf of their national government must obtain A-1 or A-2 visas prior to entering the United States. Travel is not allowed using a visitor visa or under the Visa Waiver Program. An applicant’s position within his or her country’s government and the purpose or their travel will determine the applicants need of an A-1 or A-2 visa. Outside of a few exceptions, immediate family members of diplomats will receive A-1 or A-2 visas. Any personal attendant or worker for a diplomat may be issued an A-3 visa.

An applicant for an A-1 or A-2 visa must be traveling to the United States on behalf of his or her national government, with the purpose of engages only in activities for that government. Simple government interest is not a defining factor in determining if a diplomat qualifies for an A visa.

Examples of diplomats who require A-1 visas include:

  • any head of government, an official coming to the United States to serve at a foreign embassy or consulate,
  • a government minister or cabinet member who is on official activities,
  • European Union or African Union representatives,
  • immediate family members of A-1 visa holders.

 

Those who are required to obtain A-2 visas include:

  • any fully time employee assigned by a national government who is coming to the United States only to work at a foreign embassy or consulate or to perform duties that take place at an embassy,
  • government officials who represent a national government and come to the United States on written request of their country to perform official, governmental duties,
  • foreign military members stationed at a United States army base,
  • European or African delegation representatives,
  • immediate family members of A-2 visa holders.

 

Those who are not required to obtain A-1 or A-2 visas include those who must require a B-2 or B visa.

 

For more information regarding A Visas, and the process of obtaining an A Visa, please contact the Law Office of Jeffery Bennett via phone: 816-759-2776 (English), 816-759-2777 (Spanish); or via email: jyb@jybennettlaw.com.