G International Organizations & NATO
International Organization (G) and NATO visas are issued to diplomats and other government officials for travel to the United States (U.S.). With the exception of a Head of State or Government who qualifies for an A visa regardless of the purpose of his or her visit to the U.S., the type of visa required by a diplomat or other government official depends upon their purpose of travel to the U.S.
Applicants must meet specific requirements to qualify for an Employee of International Organization (G) visa under immigration law. The consular officer will determine whether you qualify for the visa. The purpose of your intended travel to the U.S. must be pursuant to official duties.
- G-1: Permanent mission members of a recognized government to a designated international organization are eligible for a G-1 visa.
- G-2: Representatives of a recognized government traveling to the U.S. temporarily to attend meetings of a designated international organization are eligible for G-2 visas.
- G-3: Representatives of non-recognized or non-member governments are eligible for G-3 visas.
- G-4: Individuals who are proceeding to the U.S. to take up an appointment at a designated international organization, including the United Nations are eligible for G-4 visas.
See the listing of designated International Organizations by going to section 41.24 Exhibit I in the 9 FAM. Please note that U.S. visa law indicates that if a visa applicant is entitled to a G visa as a principal (primary) or dependent, he or she must receive a G visa. The exceptions to this rule are extremely limited.
Applicants must meet specific requirements to qualify for an Employee of NATO (NATO) visa under immigration law. The consular officer will determine whether you qualify for the visa. An applicant is classified under the symbol NATO-1 through NATO-6 if they are seeking admission to the U.S. under the applicable provision of the Agreement on the Status of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or the Protocol on the Status of International Military Headquarters Set Up Pursuant to the North Atlantic Treaty. This includes national representatives, international staff and immediate family members of an individual classified NATO-1 through NATO-6. Please note that U.S. visa law indicates that if a visa applicant is entitled to a NATO visa as a principal or dependent, he or she must receive a NATO visa. The exceptions to this rule are extremely limited. However, many armed forces personnel are exempt from passport and visa requirements if they are either attached to NATO Allied Headquarters in the U.S. and are traveling on official business, or are entering the U.S. under the NATO Status of Forces Agreement. When traveling in exempt status, such personnel would generally be entering the U.S. by military aircraft or naval vessel.
Notice: If entering the U.S. without a visa under the NATO Status of Forces Agreement or the Protocol on the Status of International Military Headquarters Set Up Pursuant to the North Atlantic Treaty, you must carry official military ID cards and NATO travel orders.
As part of the visa application process, when applying abroad, an interview at the embassy consular section is required for most visa applicants. For those applying for G-1 through G-4 and NATO-1 through NATO-6 visas, U.S. Embassies and Consulates generally do not require an interview; however, a consular officer can request an interview. Additionally, G-1 through G-4 and NATO-1 through NATO-6 visa applicants are exempt from the fingerprint scan requirement.
Personal employees, attendants and servants of G and NATO visa holders, that is, applicants for G-5 and NATO-7 visas, are required to be interviewed. Additionally, as part of the visa interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly completed.
Please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country for more information. Visa application forms should be delivered to the embassy or consulate in the country in which you are a resident.
Each applicant for an employee of a G or a NATO visa must submit these forms and documentation as explained below:
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit our DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process.
- An application for A, G, and NATO Visa, Form DS-1648 (ONLY for A-1 and A-2 visa applicants applying in the U.S., including in cases of change of status, or those working at the United Nations, the DS-1648 should be submitted instead of DS-160). This application must be completed and submitted online by selecting DS-1648 Online: New Application for A, G, or NATO Visa (Applying in the United States only), and then submitting the confirmation page generated at the end of the application, affixed with the Embassy, mission, or organization seal. The non-electronic form DS-1648 is NOT accepted.
- A diplomatic note. The diplomatic note is written confirmation by the sending government of the applicant’s status. A-3 applicants must also have a diplomatic note included with their applications to confirm the official status of employers.
- A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions).
- One photograph - You will upload either a scanned or digital photograph to your Form DS-160 or DS-1648 that meets the format requirements explained in the Photograph Requirements, under Applicants using Form DS-160 or Form DS-1648. If the photo upload function fails, continue trying to upload until the application allows you to proceed without a photo. Then, submit one 2x2 inch color photograph that meets requirements explained in the Photograph Requirements, stapled or glued to the online DS-160 or DS-1648 confirmation page ONLY if the confirmation page has an X in the box where the uploaded photo should appear. If the confirmation page includes a photo image, then the photo upload function has succeeded and no separate print photograph is required.
- Copy of both the visa and paper Form I-94 (both front and back) for the principal visa holder required for an immediate family member applying separately from the principal visa applicant. If the principal visa applicant entered the U.S. after the automation of Form I-94, and his/her Arrival/Departure Record was created electronically, a photocopy of his/her admission stamp can be provided to the family member applying separately. Alternatively, the principal applicant may obtain a paper Form I-94 atwww.cbp.gov/I94 and provide it to the family member applying separately.
Individuals who establish entitlement to an official visa classification (e.g., A, G, C-3, NATO) are exempt from paying visa fees. Additionally, individuals holding diplomatic passports may also be exempt from visa fees regardless of visa classification and purpose of travel, if they meet one of the qualifying categories defined in 22 CFR 21.26 (c)(1)(i) through (xvi). Possession of a diplomatic passport or the equivalent is not by itself sufficient to qualify for a no-fee diplomatic visa. The consular officer will make the determination whether the visa applicant qualifies for an exemption of fees under U.S. immigration laws. Official passport holders are not charged for official visas, but are required to pay visa application and reciprocal issuance fees, if applicable, for all non-official visas.
Immediate family members are defined as the spouse and unmarried sons and daughters of any age who are members of the household, even if studying in a different location. Application procedures are the same as for the principal applicant. Immediate family members may also include someone who will reside regularly in the household of the principal applicant, is not a member of some other household, and is recognized as an immediate family member of the principal alien by the sending Government or International Organization, as demonstrated by eligibility for rights and benefits such as the issuance of a diplomatic or official passport or other similar documentation, or travel or other allowances. Those who may qualify for immediate family status on this basis include: any other relative, by blood, marriage, or adoption, of the principal alien or spouse; a domestic partner; and a relative by blood, marriage, or adoption of the domestic partner. The term "domestic partner" for the purpose of this section means a same-sex domestic partner. Domestic partners may be issued diplomatic visas if the sending state would provide reciprocal treatment to domestic partners of U.S. Mission members. Individuals who do not qualify as immediate family, as described above, may otherwise potentially qualify for a B-2 visa. B visa applicants are required to pay visa application and reciprocal issuance fees, if applicable.
- Copy of both the visa and I-94 (both front and back) for the primary visa holder required for an immediate family member or other dependent applying separate from the primary visa applicant.
- If accompanying or following to join a military member on NATO travel orders, the spouse and children should apply for NATO-2 visas.
- If accompanying a G visa holder spouse on travel, the spouse and children must apply for the same classification of G visa.
- An unmarried partner, even if recognized as the principal applicant's dependent by the sending government or international organization, would not be eligible for a derivative visa (G or NATO), but may apply for a B visa, if otherwise qualified. B visa applicants are required to pay visa application and reciprocal issuance fees, if applicable.
Personal employees, attendants, domestic workers, or servants of individuals who hold a valid G-1 through G-4, or NATO-1 through NATO-6 visa, may be issued a G-5 or a NATO-7 visa, if they meet the requirements.
How to Apply and Required Documentation for a Personal Employee
As part of the application process, an interview at the embassy or consulate is required. Proof that the applicant will receive a fair wage, sufficient to financially support himself/herself, comparable to that being offered in the area of employment in the U.S. is required. In addition, the applicant needs to demonstrate that he/she will perform the contracted employment duties. The consular officer will determine eligibility for the G-5 or NATO-7 visa. Applicants for G-5 and NATO-7 visas must apply outside the U.S.. Personal employees, attendants, domestic workers, or servants must submit these documents;
- All forms listed above in the Required Documentation section.
- Employment Contract signed by both the employer and the employee. The contract must include each of the following items:
- The contract must be in English and also in a language understood by the employee to ensure the employee understands his or her duties and rights regarding salary and working conditions;
- A guarantee the employee will be compensated at the state or federal minimum or prevailing wage, whichever is greater. No more than 20 percent of the employee’s wages may be withheld/deducted for food (a minimum of 3 daily meals). Notice: As of March, 2011, housing and other expenses (including the provision of medical care, medical insurance, and travel) are excluded from allowable wage deductions. (Note: Fair prevailing wage is determined by the consular officer using the Department of Labor Alien Labor Certification/Occupational Employment Survey prevailing wage statistics by occupation and metropolitan area.);
- A statement by the employee, promising not to accept any other employment while working for the employer;
- A statement by the employer, promising to not withhold the passport of the employee; and
- A statement indicating that both parties understand that the employee cannot be required to remain on the premises after working hours without compensation.
The employer must pay the domestic's initial travel expenses to the U.S., and subsequently to the employer's onward assignment, or to the employee's country of normal residence at the termination of the assignment. In addition, the employer must demonstrate that he or she will have sufficient funds to provide a fair wage and working conditions, as reflected in the contract. Consideration is also given to the number of employees an employer would reasonably be able to pay.
Important Notices: Employers and Personal Employees/Domestic Workers are advised to keep their passport and a copy of their contract in their possession. They should not surrender their contract and/or passport to their employer. Personal employees and domestic workers are advised that they will be subject to U.S. law while in the U.S., and that their contracts provide working arrangements that the employer is expected to respect.
Recent changes to U.S. law relate to the legal rights of certain employment-based nonimmigrants under Federal immigration, labor, and employment laws, and the information to be provided about protections and available resources. As a temporary visitor to the U.S., it is important that you are aware of your rights, as well as protections and resources available when you come to work here. Before your interview, review the Nonimmigrant Rights, Protections and Resources pamphlet and learn about additional information on our webpage.
The U.S. Government considers "involuntary servitude" of domestic workers, as defined under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), to be a severe form of trafficking in persons (TIP) and a serious criminal offense. Victims of involuntary servitude are offered protection under the TVPA. "The term 'involuntary servitude' includes a condition of servitude induced by means of any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that, if the person did not enter into or continue in such condition, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraints, or the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process." While in the U.S., domestic workers are advised that the telephone number for police and emergency services is 911, and that the U.S. Government maintains a telephone hotline for reporting abuse of domestic employees and other TIP-related crimes, 1-888-373-7888.
- No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore final travel plans or the purchase of non-refundable tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued.
- Unless previously canceled, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, if the traveler has a valid U.S. visitor visa in an expired passport, do not remove the visa page from the expired passport. You may use it along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the U.S..
Attempting to obtain a visa by the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the U.S.Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas provides important information about ineligibilities.
Certain activities can make you ineligible for a U.S. visa. The Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-156 or Online Form DS-160, lists some categories of persons who are ineligible under U.S. law to receive visas. In some instances an applicant who is ineligible, but who is otherwise properly classifiable for a certain type of visa, may apply for a waiver of ineligibility and be issued a visa if the waiver is approved. Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas, provides important information about ineligibilities, by reviewing sections of the law taken from the Immigration and Nationality Act.
If the consular officer should find it necessary to deny the issuance of a visa, the applicant may apply again if there is new evidence to overcome the basis for the refusal. For additional information, select Denials. In the absence of new evidence, consular officers are not obliged to re-examine such cases.
Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a port of entry in the United States, such as an international airport, a seaport or a land border crossing, and request permission to enter the U.S. Immigration inspectors with the Department of Homeland Security's, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), will permit or deny admission to the United States, and determine the permitted length of stay in the U.S., on any particular visit. Visa holders whose visas indicate port of entry restrictions are responsible for paying close attention to those restrictions, and risk being refused entry if they attempt to enter the United States at a port of entry that has not been authorized. In advance of travel, prospective travelers should review important information about Admissions/Entryrequirements, as well as information related to restrictions about bringing food,agricultural products or other restricted/prohibited goods explained on the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection website. G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1, NATO-2, NATO-3, NATO-4, NATO-5, and NATO-6 visa holders are exempt from the Department of Homeland Security’s biometric program at U.S. ports of entry (previously known as the US-VISIT program). If allowed to enter, the CBP official will authorize the traveler's admission to the U.S.
|Notice: New Electronic I-94 Process - A new electronic I-94 process at air and sea ports of entry was fully implemented by May 25, 2013. Under the new CBP process, a CBP officer will provide each admitted nonimmigrant traveler with an admission stamp on their passport.CBP will no longer issue a paper Form I-94 upon entry to the U.S., with some exceptions. Learn more on the CBP website.|
If you are issued a paper Form I-94, this will document your authorized stay in the U.S. and note the length of stay permitted; it is very important to keep the paper Form I-94 in your passport.
- It is important you depart the U.S. on or before the last day you are authorized to be in the U.S. on any given trip, based on the specified end date on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Failure to depart the U.S. will cause you to be out-of-status. Staying beyond the period of time authorized by the CBP and being in the U.S. is a violation of U.S. immigration laws, and may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the future for return travel to the U.S. Select Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas to learn more.
- Staying unlawfully in the U.S. beyond the date CBP officials have authorized, even by one day, results in your visa being automatically voided, in accordance with INA 222(g). Under this provision of immigration law, if you overstay on your nonimmigrant authorized stay in the U.S., your visa will be automatically voided. In this situation,you are required to reapply for a new nonimmigrant visa, generally in your country of nationality.
Those visitors who wish to stay beyond the date indicated on their admission stamp or paper Form I-94, are required to have approval by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). See How Do I Extend My Stay in the U.S.? on the USCIS website.