What Is the A Nonimmigrant Visa Category?

Are you a diplomat, foreign government official, or someone planning to travel with one of these individuals to the U.S.? If so, you will need to know about and be granted an A category nonimmigrant visa. We will talk more about this visa category and the application process here.

What Is the A Nonimmigrant Visa Category?

A-1 and A-2 visas must be obtained by diplomats and foreign government officials planning to travel to the U.S. for official duties or other activities on behalf of their national government prior to entering the U.S. These individuals are ineligible for using a visitor visa or traveling pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program.

While a Head of State or Government will qualify for an A visa regardless of the reason for travel, others who seek an A visa will be granted an A-1 or an A-2 visa depending on the position held in the country’s government, as well as the purpose for travel. Furthermore, immediate family members of both diplomats and government officials will receive either an A-1 or an A-2, with limited exceptions. A-2 visas may also be issued to personal employees or domestic workers of diplomats and government officials.

In order to qualify for an A-1 or an A-2 visa, the applicant must be traveling to the U.S. on behalf of the foreign national government for the purpose of engaging only in official activities for that government. The U.S. Department of State, pursuant to U.S. immigration laws, will determine whether the specific duties or services to be performed are, in fact, governmental in nature and eligible for A-1 or A-2 visa purposes. Those government officials looking to travel to the U.S. for non-governmental purposes do not qualify for A visas.

In order to apply for an A visa, the process may vary depending on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the applicant is submitted. While, generally speaking, an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate is required of most visa applicants that are applying abroad, an exception includes most who apply for A-1 and A-2 visas. Most personal employees and domestic workers traveling with an A-1 or A-2 visa holder will, however, be required to be interviewed as part of the A-2 application process.

The visa application, Form DS-160 will need to be completed online. Part of this will involve uploading your photo along with the form. You will also be required to gather and submit certain documentation to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country of origin. Required documentation will include a passport that is valid for travel to the U.S. The passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond your planned period of stay in the U.S. You will also need to submit your non-immigrant visa application confirmation page as well as a photo. If your photo upload failed, you will be required to bring a photo printed in the correct format. Additionally, you will need a diplomatic note, which acts as written confirmation from your country’s government regarding your status and the official purpose for travel to the U.S.

Immigration Law Attorneys

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x104). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com.