The A-1 Visa is available for Foreign Diplomats, Foreign Ambassadors, Foreign Ministers, Foreign Consular Officers and Family. The A-1 visa is available for those who are ambassadors, public ministers, career diplomatic, or consular officers who have been recognized by a foreign government that has been officially recognized by the United States and who is accepted by the President or by the Secretary of State, and includes the members of the alien's immediate family. The A-1 visa will be as well available to those attendants, servants, personal employees, and immediate family members of those concerned diplomats, ambassadors, ministers, and consular officers.
• The A-1 visa will also be granted to visiting high-level officials of a foreign state, such as the head of state, cabinet members, legislative leaders, and top judicial officers representing their national government
• The A-1 visa holders are usually foreign government officials coming to the United States to perform official duties for their governments, and the A-1 visa holders' immediate family members.
• The consular officer may require additional documents to verify the purpose for obtaining the visa. The visa may be issued on the same day that the application is made and is in the form of a stamp in the applicant's passport.
• Dependents of an A-1 visa also include the following members of the immediate family residing in the same household as the principal alien, such as the:
2. Unmarried children under the age of 21;
3. Unmarried sons or daughters under the age of 23 who are full time students at post-secondary educational institutions;
4. Unmarried sons or daughters under the age of 25 who are full time students at post-secondary educational institutions if a formal bilateral employment agreement permitting their employment in the United States was signed prior to November 21, 1998, and such bilateral employment agreement does not specify 23 as the maximum age for employment of such sons and daughters;
5. Unmarried sons or daughters who are physically or mentally disabled to the extent that they cannot adequately take care of themselves and cannot establish and maintain their own households.
• Can A-1 Dependents Be Employed? Yes! Spouses and dependent unmarried children of an A-1 visa holder may be employed in the United States. The applicant must first submit Form I-566 to the Department of State, accompanied by:
1. A statement by the diplomatic mission certifying the relationship and that the principal A-1 visa holder's assignment is expected to last for more than six months
2. A statement from the prospective employer describing the position and salary, and certifying that the applicant has the necessary qualifications for the position.
3. The application will be approved by the Department of State and the INS/BCIS District Director in Washington D. C. if the following requirements are met:
(i.) The principal alien and the applicant are maintaining A-1 status;
(ii.) The proposed employment is not on the Department of Labor's Schedule B;
(iii.) Reciprocal benefits are accorded by the diplomat's country to family members of U. S. diplomats in that country; and
(iv.) The proposed employment would not be contrary to the interests of the United States. Permission to accept employment is given for up to three-year increments.
• How Long Is The A-1 Visa Valid? The principal A-1 visa holder and his or her family that hold the A-1 visa are admitted to the United States without a time limitation and without the need to apply for an extension of stay, as long as the Secretary of State continues to recognize them as members of the diplomatic category.
• An example on how the A-1 visa works: Juan Sanchez is the Mexican Ambassador to the United States. He works at the Mexican Embassy located in Washington D.C. Juan’s immediate family, his legal secretary, and even his butler from Mexico will be eligible for the A-1 visa.