The A-1 diplomatic visa is considered nonimmigrant and permits foreign officers of permanent diplomatic missions or consular posts to enter into the U.S. and engage in official activities.

Persons eligible for include:

  • Officers of permanent diplomatic missions or consular posts in the U.S., such as ambassadors, public ministers, career diplomats, or consular officers;
  • Representatives of all foreign states that have formal diplomatic ties with the U.S. and are recognized de jure;
  • 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;
  • Representatives from foreign states, with whom diplomatic ties are severed, could be eligible under this classification, if an exchange of representatives such as interest sections in the embassy of a third world country continues; and
  • Immediate family members of the principal A-1 holders.

A person on A-1 enjoys these privileges:

  • cannot be tried by the U.S. laws for any crime;
  • can travel throughout the U.S. and outside the U.S. unlimited times; and
  • expedited processing.

The only limitations in obtaining an A-1 is that you must be traveling to the U.S. on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities of your government. Foreign officials who are traveling to the United States on official business must obtain an A visa prior to their entry. You cannot travel on tourist’s visas, or visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.

Note: Qualified A visa applicants traveling to the United States for assignments of less than 90 days will be issued visas annotated “TDY” (temporary duty).

You may stay in the U.S. on an A-1 as long as the Secretary of State continues to recognize you as a member of the diplomatic community. You may extend your stay on A-1 by a simple renewal of accreditation by the Department of State (DOS) pursuant to a request from a foreign government. Neither an application by the foreign national nor action by the USCIS is required.

Other accredited officials or employees of foreign governments, and their immediate family members through A-2 visa.

A-1 diplomatic visa holder may bring any member of his or her spouse’s immediate family, or close relatives to stay along with them. These individuals will be traveling under A-3 visa.

Our immigration law firm, Gopal & Pedigo, PC, can assist you in obtaining your A-1 diplomatic visa. Please call or email our office and one of our experienced immigration attorneys will assist you. We are conveniently located near the Nashville International Airport in Nashville, TN.