A Visas & G Visas: Diplomatic Personnel and Employees of International Organizations

Every year, thousands of foreign citizens come to the U.S. to work at Embassies in Washington D.C. and diplomatic missions and consuls in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and many other large cities. In addition, the U.S. hosts a large number of organizations which are considered International Organizations. Examples of these are the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the Organization of American States and many others.

Foreign citizens who are employed by their home countries and assigned to diplomatic missions are eligible for A visas. Foreign citizens who are employed by or assigned to international organizations may be eligible for G visas. A and G visas may also be available for their accompanying family members and domestic employees. More specifically:

A Visas:

A visas are available for foreign diplomats, officials and employees of foreign governments who are in the U.S., assigned to their country’s Embassy or diplomatic mission. To obtain an A visa, the person must have diplomatic credentials issued by their home government and must be coming to the U.S. to engage in diplomatic activities.

A visas fall into three categories:

  • A-1:  for Ambassadors, public ministers, or career diplomats.
  • A-2:  for other accredited officials and employees of foreign governments.
  • A-3:  for attendants, servants, or personal employees of the A-1/A-2 visa holder.

The spouses, minor children and co-habiting partners of A visa holders are also eligible for A visas.

G Visas:

G visas are available for foreign citizens who are employed by international organizations in the U.S. To obtain a G visa, the person must present evidence of employment by an internationally-sanctioned organization.

G visas fall into five separate categories:

  • G-1:  for foreign citizens who are the principle representatives of their home government to a recognized international organization, e.g. IMF, WHO, OAS, IMF, U.N. or others.
  • G-2:  for foreign citizens who are other representatives of their home government traveling to the U.S. temporarily to attend meetings of a recognized international organization.
  • G-3:  for foreign citizens who are representatives of a non-recognized or non-member foreign government traveling to the U.S. temporarily to attend meetings of a recognized international organization.
  • G-4:  for foreign citizens who are in the U.S. as employees of a recognized international organization.
  • G-5:  for foreign citizens who are the attendants, servants, or personal employees of persons holding G-1 to G-4 visas.

The spouses, minor children and co-habiting partners of G visa holders are also eligible for G visas.

Special rules apply to foreign citizens in A or G status. In particular, persons in A or G status may not change status or accept employment in the U.S. without following special procedures. If you or your family members require additional information about A or G visas, please contact us.