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Diplomats and Officials

To qualify for a diplomatic (A-1 or A-2 class) visa, you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage in official activities for that government. The only exception is for very senior officials, such as the presidents and prime ministers, who are entitled to diplomatic visas regardless of their purpose of travel.

Government officials traveling to the United States for tourism, commercial business, and political party (as opposed to government) reasons do not qualify for diplomatic visas, and should follow instructions on our “How to Apply” page to apply for a visitor visa or other appropriate visa type.

If you are a national government official traveling on government or state business, you must enter the U.S. on a diplomatic visa.  You cannot enter on a tourist visa or under the Visa Waiver Program.

Municipal and Regional Government Officials

City and regional government officials do not qualify for diplomatic visa status.  Only national government officials traveling on official business qualify.

How to Apply

To apply for a diplomatic visa, you and any accompanying family members should each complete an online visa application form.

Your government or embassy should then deliver to the U.S. Embassy your passport, one 5cm X 5cm color photo, and a diplomatic note that includes the following information:

  • Name and date of birth of the traveler
  • Position and title
  • Place of assignment or visit
  • Purpose of travel
  • Brief description of duties
  • Travel date
  • Anticipated length of stay or tour of duty in the United States
  • The names, relationships, and dates of birth of any dependents and other members of household who will be accompanying or joining the principal.

For Albanian government officials, the diplomatic note must originate from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, or the Office of the President.

There are no fees for diplomatic visas.  Interviews for diplomatic visa applicants may be waived on a case-by-case basis.

Additional Information

For more information please visit the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs webpage “Diplomats and Foreign Government Official Visa.”