What Visa Do I Need to Visit the United States as a Foreign Diplomat?
If you’re planning on visiting the United States as a foreign diplomat, you cannot simply obtain a visitor visa. The United States has very strict regulations when it comes to visas, and foreign diplomats must obtain the proper visa to avoid legal consequences. Fortunately, the Bureau of Consular Affairs in the United States is quite clear when describing exactly what kind of visas foreign diplomats need in this situation.
All Foreign Government Officials Must Obtain Either A-1 or A-2 Visas
According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, all foreign government officials must obtain either A-1 or A-2 visas prior to entering the United States. However, this only applies to government officials who are visiting the United States on official duties. If you are traveling for a vacation, you do not need to obtain a visa in this category. To determine whether you need an A-1 or A-2 visa, you will first need to consider the position that you hold within your government.
When Do I Need an A-1 Visa to Visit the United States?
The Head of State of any foreign government must always obtain an A-1 visa, regardless of the purpose of travel. Unlike other foreign government workers who may obtain tourist visas instead when traveling for leisure, a Head of State is assumed to always be operating in their official duties. Here are some other individuals who need to obtain A-1 ias prior to entering the United States on official duties:
- Any official arriving to serve at a foreign embassy
- Any government minister participating in official duties
- Any cabinet minister participating in official duties
- Any representation of an EU or AU delegation
- Any immediate family members of an A-1 visa holder
When Do I Need an A-2 Visa to Enter the United States?
In some cases, government officials and other related parties will need to pursue an A-2 visa instead of an A-1 visa. There is some overlap between the two visas, and applicants may need to check with immigration attorneys before choosing the correct option. Here are a few examples of individuals who need A-2 visas:
- Full-time employees assigned to work in the United States for an extended period of time (such as in an embassy)
- Any government official performing government-related work for less than 90 days
- Foreign military members stationed at US military bases or foreign embassies
- Staff of EU and AU delegations
- Immediate family members of A-2 visa holders
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Immigration Attorney in Palm Beach County?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced immigration attorney in Palm Beach County, look no further than the Devore Law Group. Over the years, we have helped numerous individuals obtain the correct visas before visiting the United States. Although the Bureau of Consular Affairs is quite clear when describing proper visas for foreign diplomats, it helps to speak with an attorney to determine the best choice based on your specific circumstances. Book your consultation today to get started.