Diplomats / Government Officials and Government-Sponsored J Program

Diplomats/Government Officials (A Visas)

Foreign officials who are traveling to the United States on official business must meet specific requirements to qualify for a diplomatic (A) visa under immigration law and obtain an A visa prior to their entry. For an A-1 or A-2 visa, you must be traveling to the U.S on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. You cannot travel on a tourist visa, or visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.

The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the U.S. Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the U.S. to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require the appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

Note:

  1. Qualified A visa applicants traveling to the U.S. for assignments of less than 90 days will be issued visas annotated “TDY” (temporary duty).
  2. Official and diplomatic passport holders whose countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program and who wish to enter the United States for tourist or transit for personal travel, may travel visa free provided that they meet all requirements of Visa Waiver Program
  3. Local government officials representing their state, province, borough, or other local political entity do not qualify for A visa status; they require a B visa.

International Organizations (G visas):

To qualify for an employee of International Organization G visa, the individual must be entering the United States in pursuance of official duties.

  • G1 – Members of a permanent mission of a recognized government to an international organization
  • G2 – Representatives of a recognized government traveling to the United States temporarily to attend meetings of a designated international organization
  • G3 – Representatives of non-recognized or non-member governments
  • G4 – Personnel proceeding to the United States to take up an appointment at a designated international organization, including the United Nations
  • G5 – Attendants, Servants and Personal Employees of G-1/G-2/G-3/G-4.

See the listing of designated International Organizations by going to section 402.3-7(N) in the 9 FAM.

Note: A person who meets the foregoing requirements for G-1, G-3 (non-TDY), or G-4 classification is expected to perform services for the foreign government or international organization on an essentially full-time basis (at least 35 hours per week) and to reside in the metropolitan area of the international organization where the individual will be serving.

How to Apply

Depending on your type of passport and the purpose of your travel, the visa category, fee, and interview requirements differ. Please check the chart below to apply for your visa.

Purpose of Travel Visa Category Application Fee? Interview?

Diplomatic passport holders

Official duty A-1/ A-2/ C-3 No fee No Interview
Non-official duty B/ F/ M/ J etc No fee Interview required

Official passport holders

Official duty A-1/ A-2/ C-3 No fee No Interview
Non-official duty B/ F/ M/ J etc. Fee required Interview required

International Organizations

Official duty G-1/ G-2/ G-3/ G-4 No fee No Interview

Exchange visitor applicants
in a program with program number starting
with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7 on Form DS2019

Exchange visitor J1 No fee Interview required

Personal Employees

Domestic Employee of A or G visa holders A-3 or G-5 No fee Interview required

*Applicants from certain countries may be required to pay a visa issuance fee after their application is approved. The Department of State’s website has more information about visa issuance fees and can help you determine if an issuance fee applies to your nationality.


Required Documents and Application Procedures

If you apply for one of the following visa categories, interview and visa application fee are exempted.

A-1, A-2, C-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4

  • U.S. Embassy Tokyo: Applicants can submit documents at the Visa Window of the Consular Section in person or by messenger, mail, travel agent. The Visa Window is open Monday through Friday between 14:30 and 15:00, except U.S. and Japanese holidays. Appointment is not required. If applying by mail, application processing may take two to five workdays.
  • U.S. Consulate Osaka: Please contact the Consulate at NIVOsaka@state.gov to arrange an appointment.

Required documentation:

        • Your passport
        • DS-160 Confirmation Page : Complete the form ONLINE, and PRINT the confirmation page.
        • One 5.0 x 5.0 cm color photo, taken within the last six months against a white or off-white background.*Starting November 1, 2016, applicants are not permitted to wear eyeglasses in photos.
        • Diplomatic note (A visas) or invitation letter from international organizations (G visas). The note or letter should include the following information concerning the principal applicant:
          • Name and date of birth;
          • Position and title;
          • Place of assignment or visit;
          • Purpose of travel;
          • Brief description of duties (including work hours per week for G1, G3 and G4 visa application);
          • Travel date;
          • Anticipated length of stay or tour of duty in the United States; and
          • The names, relationships, and dates of birth of any dependents and other members of household who will be accompanying or joining the principal.
        • One self-addressed “LetterPack Plus” envelope

If you apply for one of the following visa categories, you are required to be interviewed but not required to pay the visa application fees.

  • A-3, G-5 and NATO-7 visa
  • J visas applicants and their dependents, if participating in a Department of State, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), or a federally funded educational and cultural exchange program which has a program serial number beginning with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7 printed on Form DS-2019 (NOTE: Neither application fee nor SEVIS fee payments are required)
  • Applicants with a diplomatic passport who are applying for a nonimmigrant visa for purposes other than the official duties (B, F, M, J visa etc…)
  • U.S. Government employees travelling on official business. (NOTE : U.S. Government employees traveling on official business who do not pay the fee will be entitled to a single-entry 3-month validity visa.)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo: Please come to Diplomatic/Official window of the Consular Section on Monday except U.S. and Japanese holidays,between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. If Monday is a U.S. or Japanese holiday, you may come on the following Tuesday at the same hours. No appointment is required.

U.S. Consulate Osaka: Please contact the Consulate at NIVOsaka@state.gov to arrange an appointment.

U.S. Consulate-Naha, Sapporo or Fukuoka: please call directly (Naha: 098-876-4211; Sapporo: 011-641-1115; Fukuoka: 092-751-9331). Please send your application documents by one week before the interview.

Required documentation:

  • Your passport
  • DS-160 Confirmation Page : Complete the form ONLINE, and PRINT the confirmation page.
  • One 5.0 cm x 5.0 cm color photo, taken within the last six months against a white or off-white background.*Starting November 1 2016, applicants are not permitted to wear eyeglasses in photos.
  • Diplomatic note (required only for A-3, G-5 and NATO-7)
  • Supporting documents for the type of visa you are applying for, please see here for details.
  • One self-addressed “LetterPack Plus” envelope

Official passport holders traveling for non-official purposes, tourism (B visas), study on F visas, participation in J visa exchange programs, transit C-1 visas whose cases require the application fee need to make an appointment for a visa interview. For details on application procedures and required documentation, please visit http://www.ustraveldocs.com/jp/jp-niv-visaapply.asp 

Immediate family members are defined as the spouse and 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:

(A)  Under the age of 21, or
(B)  Under the age of 23 and in full-time attendance as students at post-secondary educational institutions.

Immediate Family Members described above are eligible for derivative A or G visas. Application procedures are the same as for the principal applicant. Partners who are recognized as the principal alien’s dependent by the sending government, while not eligible for derivative A or G visas, may apply for B-1/B-2 visas, if otherwise qualified. B-1/B-2 visa applicants are required to pay visa application and reciprocal issuance fees, if applicable.