Diplomats and Government Officials (A-1 & A-2)

To qualify for an A-1 or A-2 visa, one must be traveling to the United States on behalf of their national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not, in itself, the defining factor in determining whether or not an applicant qualifies for an A visa.  The particular duties or services to be performed must also be of an inherently governmental character or nature.

Important note: Foreign officials who intend to travel to the United States on official business must obtain an “A” or “G” visa prior to their entry.  They cannot travel on tourist visas or visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.

Local government officials representing their council, county, department, or other local entity do not qualify for “A” visa status; they require B-1 or B-2 visas or a valid Visa Waiver Authorization/ESTA.

Please review the information on the Department of State website for detailed information on A-visas.