A Visa for Diplomats on official business

Diplomats, officials and employees of foreign governments recognized by United States, and coming on official business.

A-1 Visa

  • Ambassadors
  • Public Ministers
  • Career diplomats/officers
  • Immediate family members of all the above persons

A-2 Visa

  • Accredited Officials and Employees of foreign governments
  • Immediate family members of all the above persons

A-3 Visa

  • Attendants of A-1/A-2
  • Servants of A-1/A-2
  • Personal Employees of A-1/A-2
  • Immediate family members of all the above persons

Key Facts

If foreign official/employee not coming on official business, he should not be given A-1/A-2 Visa, but instead a B Visa or any other non-immigrant visa.

Family of A-1/A-2 Visa holders

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried children
  • Unmarried sons and daughters under certain limited circumstances

What is the difference between Diplomatic and Official Visas?

Diplomat Visas

Persons holding a diplomatic passport, and eligible to receive diplomatic visa.

  • Heads of state;
  • Royal families;
  • Governor generals;
  • Cabinet members;
  • Justices of highest court;
  • Presiding members of legislatures;
  • Ambassadors;
  • Military at or above rank of brigadier general;
  • Military attache;
  • G-4 visa holders if Sec. General of U.N. or other high U.N. official or officer on diplomatic missions;
  • All immediate family members of those persons.

Official Visas

  • Persons eligible to receive diplomatic visa but not in possession of diplomatic passport.
  • A visas, C visas within INA §212(d)(8), 8 U.S.C. §1182(d)(8) [reciprocal continuous transit], and all other G visas, except G-3, unless from government recognized by U.S.
  • Members of legislatures and justices of lower courts.
  • Clerical and custodial employees attached to foreign government delegation or international organization.
  • Members of the family.
  • Servants/personal employees of diplomatic visa holders.