Diplomatic Visas (A-1 & A-2)
Diplomats and Government Officials (A-1 & A-2)
With the exception of a Head of State or Government who qualifies for an A-1 visa regardless of the purpose of his or her visit to the United States, the type of visa required by a diplomat or other government official depends upon his or her reason for entering the United States.
To qualify for an A-1 or A-2 visa, the individual concerned must be traveling to the United States on behalf of his or her national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not, in itself, the defining factor in determining whether or not the applicant qualifies for an A visa; the particular duties or services to be performed must also be of an inherently governmental character or nature. Local government officials representing their state, province, borough, or other local political entity do not qualify for "A" visa status; they require B-1 or B-2 visas. Note: Qualified A visa applicants traveling to the United States for assignments of less than 90 days will be issued visas annotated "TDY" (temporary duty).
Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature or traveling as tourists require the appropriate H, L or B visa, or if qualified, travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program; they do not qualify for diplomatic visas.
Important note: Foreign officials who intend traveling to the United States on official business must obtain an "A" visa prior to their entry. They cannot travel on tourist visas, or visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.
Applying for the Visa
Please review the following THREE STEPS below before beginning your visa application.
Step 1: Complete the online DS-160
Step 3: Applying for the visa
Reminder: We always recommend that individuals apply for visas well in advance of their proposed date of travel. No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore, final travel plans or the purchase of non refundable ticket should not be made until a visa has been issued and you are in receipt of the passport.
Reissuance through the Department of State
- If you are currently in the United States, you may be eligible to apply for the reissuance of the visa through the Department of State
Spouses, Children & Partners
Immediate family members are defined as the spouse and unmarried sons and daughters of any age who are members of the household. Individuals who do not qualify as immediate family members may be eligible to apply for B-1/B-2 visas. B-1/B-2 visa applicants are required to pay visa application and receiprocal issuance fees, if applicable.