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U.S. Visas

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Visas for Foreign Government, International Organization, and NATO Officials and Employees - FAQs

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How do I complete the online Form DS-1648?

Select Form DS-1648 Online Application for A, G, and NATO Visa to access the form and to review instructions.

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How is "immediate family member" defined?

For A, G, and certain NATO visas, “immediate family member” is defined as:

1- The spouse of the principal alien, who is not a member of some other household and who will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien, or

2- unmarried legal sons and daughters of the principal alien, who are not members of some other household and who will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien, provided that such unmarried sons and daughters are:

  • Under the age of 21; or
  • Under the age of 23 and in full-time attendance as students at post-secondary educational institutions.

If a son or daughter does not qualify as “immediate family” under this section, he or she may still qualify under section 3:

3- ”Immediate family member” may also include any other person who:

  • Will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien;
  • Is not a member of some other household; and
  • Is recognized as an immediate family member of the principal alien by the sending government or designated International Organization (IO), as demonstrated by eligibility for rights and benefits, such as the issuance of a diplomatic or official passport or other similar documentation, or travel or other allowances.  

Aliens who may qualify for immediate family status on this basis include:  any other relative, by blood, marriage, or adoption, of the principal alien or his/her spouse; a same-sex domestic partner; and a relative by blood, marriage, or adoption of the same-sex domestic partner.  The term "domestic partner" means a same-sex domestic partner. Domestic partners may be issued A or G visas if the sending country would provide reciprocal treatment to domestic partners of U.S. citizen government and international organization officials and employees.

For NATO visas, immediate family member means the spouse or child of a member depending on him or her for support.

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My immediate family member until recently has been a member of another household.

A relative who was a member of another household, even in the recent past, may still be considered a member of your household. You must be able to show that you are financially responsible for the new immediate family member. The relative must show that they are joining your household out of necessity, rather than convenience.

For example, a recently widowed, physically disabled, or elderly parent may have found it necessary to close their former household, or ceased to be able to maintain their own household, and therefore will become part of the principal applicant's household.

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Does an adopted child qualify as a member of my household?

Yes. Children who have completed a full and final adoption by the principal applicant are considered immediate family members.

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I have a diplomatic passport, and I am traveling to the United States as a tourist. Must I have a diplomatic visa?

Heads of state or government qualify for A category visas, regardless of the purpose of their visit.  Visa categories for all other diplomatic passport holders are determined by their purpose of travel.  Note that heads of state or national government qualify for A-1 category visas, regardless of the purpose of their visit.

If traveling as a tourist, you need a visitor (B) visa or, if eligible, you may travel without a visa on the Visa Waiver Program.

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I am traveling on behalf of my government for less than 90 days and am a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program country. Can I travel without a visa on the Vias Waiver Program?

No. If you are traveling to the United States as an official representative of your government, you require an A, G, or NATO visa.

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I am a local government official. Do I qualify for a diplomatic visa?

No.  Only officials traveling to the United States on behalf of their national governments may qualify for diplomatic (A) visas. Activity on behalf of a local government is not A visa activity.

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I am in the armed forces. Do I qualify for a diplomatic visa?

Whether you qualify for a specific visa category is determined by the activity in which you plan to engage while in the United States.  If you are from a non-NATO country and the military education or training you will receive is being provided at a U.S. military facility (service academy, fort, base, other military installation), you might qualify for an A visa regardless of the duration of the training.

If the military training you will receive is U.S. Government-sponsored or licensed, but is not provided at a U.S. military facility, you might qualify for an A visa only if the period of training is less than 90 days.

NATO military personnel qualify for NATO visas if they plan to engage in official NATO activity.

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I am going to a meeting/conference sponsored by an international organization. Must I have an A or G visa?

If you are being sent by your government to a meeting or conference which is sponsored by certain international organizations, you generally must have a G visa. However, if your visit will also include other official activities, such as bilateral meetings in Washington D.C. with U.S. Government officials, you might need an A visa.

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I have an S, M, or N series Iraqi passport. Do I need to obtain an A or G series passport?

In order to apply for a U.S. visa and travel to the United States, you must have an A or G series passport. Iraqi S, M, and N series passports are not valid for travel to the United States. More information about Iraqi passports is available on the U.S. Embassy Baghdad website.

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What visa category is required when I will participate in a course given by international Monetary Fund (IMF)?

If you have been nominated by a member government of the IMF to attend the course, and you otherwise qualify under U.S. immigration regulations, you are eligible for a G visa. When applying for the visa, you are required to submit the acceptance letter from the IMF. The request for your visa must be made or supported by the nominating foreign government.

If you were not nominated by a member government, you require a visitor (B) visa. You may qualify to travel without a visa on the Visa Waiver Program if you are a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program country.

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What visa category is required when I will participate in a course given by the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank?

If you have been nominated by a member government of the World Bank to attend a course given at the Economic Development Institute, you are eligible for a G visa.  When applying for the visa, you are required to submit the acceptance letter from the Economic Development Institute.  The request for your visa must be made or supported by the nominating foreign government.

If you were not nominated by a member government, you require a visitor (B) visa.  You may qualify to travel without a visa on the Visa Waiver Program if you are a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program country.  In both cases, you must meet all applicable regulations required for a U.S. visa.

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Can my immediate family members with A, G or NATO visas work in the United States?

Immediate family members of A-1, A-2, G-1, G-3, G-4, and NATO1-6 visa holders might be eligible to work in the United States. An application for employment authorization using Form I-566, Interagency Record of Request – A, G or NATO Dependant Employment Authorization must be submitted to the Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions through the office, mission, or international organization which employs the principal applicant. If the Office of Foreign Mission's recommendation is favorable, Form I-566 will be forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for action. If the application is approved, USCIS will send the employment authorization to the mission or international organization.  In the case of NATO immediate family members, USCIS employment authorization will be sent to NATOSACLANT.

For further information, contact your mission or international organization or, in the case of NATO visa holders, NATOSACLANT.