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The A Visa | Print |  Email
Tuesday, 18 February 2003
For employees of foreign governments and their dependants

The A visa is set aside for employees of foreign governments and their dependants. The visa is valid for 3 years and employment authorization is granted to the recipients of the A visa. Dependants may work in the US if this is allowed by bilateral employment agreements.

Hundreds of Irish immigrants are present in the USA on the A visa working with Irish government agencies. A visa holders are eligible to adjust their status in the USA if they become eligible for legal permanent residency status through a family or employment based petition or through selection in the Diversity Visa lottery.

There are 3 categories of A visas:

  • A-1 Ambassadors, public ministers or career diplomats and officers and their immediate families.
  • A-2 Other accredited officials and employees of foreign governments and their immediate families.
  • A-3 Attendants, servants, personal employees and members of their immediate families.

Some of the A visas may be limited to certain security and political grounds, and may be inadmissible on certain grounds. A visa holders are usually admitted for duration of status.

It should be noted that if the foreign official / employee is not coming to the US on official business, then he/she may not enter on the A; they may be eligible for a B visa.

Spouse and unmarried dependent children of A-1 and A-2 visa holders may apply for employment authorization if recommended by US Department of State if there is a formal bilateral employment agreement between the countries. Family members of A-3 are not granted employment authorization.

Children of diplomats born in the USA may be considered to be lawful permanent residents of the US unless they abandon their residency by leaving the US and returning to the home country with their parents.

Section 13 of the INS permits adjustment of status to A or G visa holders, without any other basis for adjustment and become lawful permanent residents (LPR) if they failed to maintain status and can demonstrate compelling reasons why they can not return to their home country. The applicant must be able to show it is in the US national interest and not contrary to national welfare, safety and security to grant LPR status.

Information courtesy of the


59 Temple Place, Suite 1010, Boston, MA 02111

Tel. (617) 542-7654 Fax (617) 542-7655

Email: Website:

An Agency accredited by US Immigration and Naturalization Service

Disclaimer:These articles are published to inform, not to advise. Areas of law are rapidly changing. The US Immigration and Naturalization Service and US Department of State regularly amend regulations and alter processing and filing procedures. For legal advice seek the assistance of an IIC immigration specialist or an immigration attorney.

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