- Visas – Application Procedures, Validity and Length of Stay
- Passport and Travel Documents
- Miscellaneous – Travel to the United States
- Visa Refusals
- Diplomats, International Organizations and NATO Visas
- Members of the Entertainment Profession and Athletes
- Members of the Media
- Students and Exchange Visitors
- Visa Waiver Program
How do you determine whether a person qualifies for an A or G visa?
In general G visas are issued to individuals employed directly by an international organization, or representing a foreign government to international organizations. A visas are issued to representatives of a foreign government traveling to the United States to engage in official activities for that government.
I am going to an international meeting/conference sponsored by an international organization; do I require an A or G visa?
If you are being sent by your government to an international meeting or conference, other than one convened by or under the auspices of an international organization, which is official in nature you will require an A visa. G visas are appropriate only if the meeting is sponsored by an international organization.
I'm in the armed forces; do I qualify for a diplomatic visa?
Personnel of foreign armed services from other than NATO countries, coming to the United States in connection with their military status for education or training at any of the U.S. military schools, qualify for A-2 visas.
I am an official of the European Union traveling on official business to the United States. Do I require an official visa?
EU officials, including members of the EU parliament and those attached to the Court of Justice although not members of a foreign government per se, are eligible to receive A-2 visas if traveling to the United States on EU business. A Note Verbale from the EU Office of Protocol is required to issue such a visa.
I am a local government official; will I be accorded a diplomatic visa?
A visa status only pertains to officials traveling to the United States on behalf of their national government. Local government officials traveling on behalf of their state, province, borough, or other local political entity do not qualify for A visa status. They type of visa you require will depend on the reason for your visit
I am an employee of the British Tourist Authority (BTA). I am being posted to the BTA office in the United States. Do I require a diplomatic visa?
The promotion of tourism in the United States is considered a legitimate government function. Therefore, provided the BTA offices are engaged solely in the promotion of tourism and are not functioning as commercial travel agents, employees of these offices qualify for A-2 visas.
My visa is annotated with the symbol "TDY"; what does this mean?
If an A visa applicant is going to the United States for an assignment which is to last less than 90 days, his or her visa will be annotated TDY.
I hold a diplomatic passport, but am traveling to the United States as a tourist; can I travel visa free?
If you are traveling as a tourist and meet the requirements for traveling visa fee under the Visa Waiver Program, you will not require a visa to enter the United States.
I'm traveling on behalf of my government for less than 90 days. As I am a national of one of the visa free countries, can I travel under the Visa Waiver Program?
If you are traveling to the United States on official business on behalf of your government, you must obtain an official visa. You cannot travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.
I am a contract employee of the British government; do I qualify for an A-2 visa?
If your contract is with the British government you may be eligible for an A-2 visa. However, if you are employed by a private company under contract to the British government, an A-2 visa is not appropriate.
Do employees of regional development organizations qualify for A-2 visas?
Employees of agencies that represent Scotland, N. Ireland, Wales and England and are financed from the central government qualify for A-2 visas ; representatives of other development organizations do not.
Which family members qualify for derivative diplomatic and international organization visas?
Immediate family members are defined as the principal applicant’s spouse and unmarried sons and daughters of any age who are not members of some other household and who will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien. This includes children who are at boarding school. Immediate family also includes any other close relatives of the principal alien or spouse who are relatives by blood, marriage, or adoption; are not members of some other household; will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien and are recognized as dependents by the sending Government.
The fact that your relative has been, even in the recent past, a member of some other household does not preclude him or her from being considered a member of the household of the principal alien. For example, a recently widowed, divorced, or aging parent may have closed a former household with the intention of becoming part of the principal alien’s household. This could also occur because the parent, due to advanced age or infirmity, had ceased to be able to maintain his or her own household. In such cases, the principal applicant must be able to show that he/she is financially responsible for the new family member.
Can the dependent of an A, G or NATO visa holder work in the United States on a derivative visa?
Dependents of A-1, A-2, G-1, G-3, G-4 and NATO visa holders may be eligible to work in the United States on derivative A, G or NATO visas.
An application for employment must be made on the form I-566 to the Department of State through the office, mission, or organization which employees the principal alien. If the Department’s recommendation is favorable, the form I-566 will be forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for action. If the application is approved, USCIS will transmit the employment authorization to the mission, or international organization.
In the case of NATO dependents, USCIS employment authorization will be transmitted to NATOSACLANT.
For further information you should either contact your mission, international organization or in the case of NATO visa holders, NATOSACLANT.
I have been offered an internship at the United Nations; do I qualify for a G-4 visa?
G-4 visas are not appropriate in this case. A B-1 visa may be appropriate if you have attained a bachelor or higher degree (or equivalent) and the proposed duties are in a specialty occupation, related to your degree.
If you believe that you may be eligible for a B-1 visa you are required to apply for a visa. At the time of application you should enclose a letter from the UN which discusses in detail the internship together with evidence of your academic qualifications.
NOTE: Interns working at their country’s mission to the UN or the EC Delegation require either official, exchange (J-1) or temporary work (H-2) visas. However, if you meet the requirements for the B-1 visas as described above, you may also be eligible for the B-1 visa.
I have been offered an internship at an international organization other than the United Nations; do I qualify for a G-4 visa?
If you will be paid directly by that international organization, you will qualify for the G-4 visa.
I am participating in the UN Secretariat Exchange Visitor Program; what type of visa do I require?
Participants in the exchange visitor program of the Training and Fellowship Program Section, Bureau of Technical Assistance Operations, U.N Secretariat require exchange visitor (J-1) visas.
I am a teacher at the UN international school; do I qualify for a G-4 visa?
Teachers at the UN International School are not considered to be staff members. However, if we receive an official request from the UN, a G-4 visa can be issued to you.
I have a UN Laissez-Passer; is this valid for travel to the United States?
The passport is valid for travel to the United States only if the holder is destined to the United Nations and is in possession of a valid G-4 visa. Note: the UN Laissez-Passer is an emergency travel document and should only be used in special circumstances.
I am a participant in a course given by the International Monetary Fund (IMF); what type of visa do I require to travel to the United States?
If you have been nominated by a member government of the IMF to attend the course you are eligible for a G-2 visa. When applying for the visa you are required to furnish from the IMF a letter of acceptance. The request for the visa must be made or supported by the foreign government concerned. Attendees who are not nominated by a member government require B-1/B-2 visas.
I am a participant in a course given by the Economic Development Institute of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank); what type of visa do I require?
If you have been nominated by a member government of the World Bank to attend a course given at the Economic Development Institute of the Bank, you are eligible for a G-4 visa. When applying for the visa you are required to furnish a letter of acceptance from the Economic Development Institute of the Bank. The request for a visa must be made or supported by the foreign government concerned. Attendees who are not nominated by a member government require B-1/B-2 visas.
We are a company/I am under contract to an International organization, do our employees/do I qualify for G-4 visas?
If you are under contract to an International Organization you may be eligible for a G-4 visa.
I am a police officer traveling to the United States on official business; do I require an official visa?
If you are traveling on official police business, for example, to interview witnesses, take a statement in connection with a police investigation, you will require an A-2 visa.
I am a foreign military officer currently on a study tour with the Royal Defense College. As part of my training I am required to travel to the United States with the college. What type of visa am I entitled to and how do I make an application?
As you are being sent by the British government, you require a B-1 visa. The Embassy currently has an agreement with the Royal Defense College that they will make the request for the visa on your behalf. A completed visa application form DS-160 is required together with a passport, color passport type photograph and a letter from the Royal Defense College. An application fee and issuance fee (if required) may be applicable if you do not have a diplomatic passport.
I am a Ministry of Defense Employee seconded to an American military base. If I need to travel to the United States on behalf of my U.S. employers' what type of visa do I require?
As the U.S. government is sending you, you require a B-1 visa