US Non-Immigrant Visas (A-1, A-2, A-3)

A Visa – Foreign Government Officials

Qualifying Factors

  • Head of State can qualify regardless of purpose of travel 
  • Local government (state / provincial) do not qualify 
  • “the fact there may be government interest or control in an organization” that the person represents is not sufficient to qualify
  • “Immediate Family Member”
    • Spouse 
    • Unmarried sons / daughters
      • Members of household 
      • May be studying in different location 
    • Other
      • Resides in home regularly 
      • Not a member of another household 
      • Recognized as immediate family by sending government
      • Includes:
        • Same-Sex Domestic partner – (where government would provide reciprocal treatment to American domestic partners) 
        • Any relative (by blood or marriage to you OR your spouse / same-sex domestic partner) 

Renewal or Change of Status

To Renew

  • A-1 or A-2 Visas can apply inside the US
    • Handled by the Diplomatic Liaison Division where
      • Not employees of the United Nations (UN)
      • Registered with Dept. of State Office of Foreign Missions or Foreign Military Personal stationed in US.
      • Present in US and only needs to travel temporarily.
    • Re-entry to the US requires a valid visa and time limits will be determined by DHS upon entry.
  • Overage dependents (e.g. sons & daughters) can only apply for renewal inside the US if:
    • The Mission or IO recognizes such dependents
      • The dependent has a passport OR
        • A) Is Under 21
        • B) Is between 21 and 23 AND has submitted proof of rights/benefits or school enrollment
        • C) Is over 23 AND submitted proof of rights / benefits
  • A-3 must reapply outside of the US
  • *If you are an employee or qualify under the A-3 category, remember to read the US Government’s handout on the “Rights and Protections for Temporary Workers.”  Know your rights!

A-1  – Diplomats, Foreign Government Officials, Immediate Family

  • On Assignment – traveling solely to represent your country in official activities 
  • Includes:
    • Head of State 
    • Official serving at US embassy / consulate (ambassador / consul) 
    • Minister or Cabinet Member 
    • EU / AU delegation representative 
  • Renewable in US 

A-2  – Diplomats, Foreign Government Officials, Immediate Family

  • On Assignment – traveling solely to represent your country in official activities 
  • Includes:
    • Foreign employees sent to foreign embassy and only working in that embassy. 
    • Certain government officials representing the country based on written request 
    • Foreign military members stationed at US military base or assigned to foreign embassy 
  • Renewable in US 

A-3 – Personal employees, attendants, staff, workers.

  • Meets 9 FAM 402.3-9 including (but not limited to):
    • Has a written contract (and understands the terms) 
    • Receives minimum wage and working conditions under US Labor Law 
    • Proves they perform a specific job in the contract and are capable of doing so. 
    • There is a bona fide employer-employee relationship 
    • Has a diplomatic note & is registered in TOMIS 
  • Does not include personal employees of a US permanent resident. 
  • Must be Renewed outside US. Valid 3 years with possible 2 year extension. 
  • Works under an official with A-1, A-2 visa 

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