Diplomatic and Government Officials

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Diplomats/ Government Officials (A Visas)

 

Foreign officials who are traveling to the United States on official business must meet specific requirements to qualify for a diplomatic (A) visa under immigration law and obtain an A visa prior to their entry. For an A-1 or A-2 visa, you must be traveling to the U.S. on behalf of your national government to engage in official activities for that government. You cannot travel on a tourist visa using B1B2. 

The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the U.S. Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require the appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

C-3 Visas

C-3 is a classification for foreign government officials and members of their families and his or her attendants, servants or personal employees seeking merely to enter in transit through the United States to another country.

Note:

  1. Qualified A visa applicants traveling to the U.S. for assignments of less than 90 days will be issued visas annotated “TDY” (temporary duty).
  2. A diplomatic note must accompany all A and C-3 applications.
  3. Local government officials representing their state, province, borough, or other local political entity and lecturers or university staff do not qualify for A visa status; they would generally require a B visa.
  4. Applicants working at the ministry that do not have equivalent official organization in the U.S. do not qualify for a diplomatic visa.
  5. Where an organization is essentially engaged in commercial and/or competitive activities (e.g., banking, mining, or transportation), an official traveling on behalf of such organization would generally not be qualified for an A visa.  Depending upon the purpose of travel to the United States, consideration may be given to other visa classification. 

International Organizations (G visas)

To qualify for an employee of International Organization G visa, the individual must be entering the United States in pursuance of official duties.

  • G1 – Members of a permanent mission of a recognized government to an international organization
  • G2 – Representatives of a recognized government traveling to the United States temporarily to attend meetings of a designated international organization
  • G3 – Representatives of non-recognized or non-member governments
  • G4 – Personnel proceeding to the United States to take up an appointment at a designated international organization, including the United Nations

See the listing of designated International Organizations in the Foreign Affairs Manual (9 FAM 402.3-7(N).

A-3 and G-5 visa applicants (Personal/Domestic employees of representatives of foreign governments)

must first be registered with Department of State’s Office of Foreign Mission Management System (TOMIS) via the eGov system before applying for a visa.  For more information about registration for A3, please contact DomesticWorkers@state.gov and G5 UNDomesticWorkers@state.gov  

 The registration forms can be found online at: https://2009-2017.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/c74676.htm

How to Apply

Depending on your type of passport and the purpose of your travel, the visa category, fee, and interview requirements differ. Please check the chart below to apply for your visa.

Purpose of Travel

Visa Category

Application Fee?

Interview?

Diplomatic passport holders

Official duty

A-1/ A-2/ C-3

No fee

No Interview

Non-official duty

B

No fee

Interview required

Official passport holders

Official duty

A-1/ A-2/ C-3

No fee

No Interview

Non-official duty

B

Fee required

Interview required

International Organizations

Official duty

G-1/ G-2/ G-3/ G-4

No fee

No Interview

Personal Employees

Domestic Employee of A or G visa holders

A-3 or G-5

No fee

Interview required

*Applicants from certain countries may be required to pay a visa issuance fee after their application is approved. The Department of State’s website has more information about visa issuance fees and can help you determine if an issuance fee applies to your nationality.

Contact: For questions or information about Diplomatic Visas, you may contact the Non Immigrant Visa section at visasbkk@state.gov

The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit in Bangkok maintains a Diplomatic and Official Visa Services Window for diplomats, national-level government officials, and International Organization employees traveling to the United States on official business who qualify for an A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, or C-3 (diplomatic) visa. 

The Diplomatic and Official Visa Services window is open on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 1:30 p.m. (13:30) until 3:00 p.m. (15:00) except for Thai and United States national holidays. A messenger from the organization is allowed to drop off the passport and visa application on behalf of the Diplomatic/Official visa applicant, in case the applicant does not need to be interviewed (A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, or C-3 applicants do not need to be interviewed). The determination regarding qualification for a diplomatic or official visa is made by a Consular officer. Applicants will be instructed how to proceed if their purpose of travel does not qualify. Applicants DO NOT need to pay the visa application fee unless so instructed by a consular officer. The visa application fee is non-refundable, even if paid in error.

Please also note that the Diplomatic/Official Visa Services Window is closed on the last Wednesday of each month. The Consular Section in Chiang Mai does not accept applications for A, G, or C-3 visas.

Required Documents and Application Procedures

No Fee/ No Interview

If you apply for one of the following visa categories, interview and visa application fee are exempted.

A-1, A-2, C-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4

Required documentation:

– Original valid passport

– Completed DS-160 online application form (each individual requires his/her separate DS-160). Each applicant is required to print out his/her own DS-160 confirmation page. The application form is available at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/

– Invitation letter from sponsoring organization and itinerary

– 2X2 inches color photo with white background taken within the last six months with no glasses on. Please see further instruction in the embassy website: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/th/th-niv-photoinfo.asp

– Diplomatic note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for A and C3 visas or note verbale from the sending organization for G

The note or letter should include the following information concerning the principal applicant:

Name and date of birth;

Position and title;

Place of assignment or visit;

Purpose of travel;

Brief description of duties;

Travel date;

Anticipated length of stay or tour of duty in the United States; and

The names, relationships, and dates of birth of any dependents and other members of household who will be accompanying or joining the principal.

No Fee but Need Interview

If you apply for one of the following visa categories, you are required to be interviewed but not required to pay the visa application fees.

- A-3, G-5, NATO-7
- Applicants with a diplomatic passport who are applying for a nonimmigrant visa for purposes other than the official duties (B, F, M, J visa etc…)

Required documentation:

– Original valid passport

– Completed DS-160 online application form (each individual requires his/her separate DS-160). Each applicant is required to print out his/her own DS-160 confirmation page. The application form is available at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/

– Invitation letter from sponsoring organization and itinerary

– 2X2 inches color photo with white background taken within the last six months with no glasses on. Please see further instruction in the embassy website: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/th/th-niv-photoinfo.asp

 - Diplomatic note (required only for A-3, G-5 and NATO-7)

For supporting documents for the type of visa you are applying for, please see here for details.

Need Both Fee and Interview

Official passport holders traveling for non-official purposes, tourism (B visas), study on F visas, participation in J visa exchange programs, transit C-1 visas whose cases require the application fee need to make an appointment for a visa interview. For details on application procedures and required documentation, please visit https://www.ustraveldocs.com/th/th-niv-visaapply.asp