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G Visas

Are you a diplomat, foreign government official, or a member of an international organization?

Will you be pursuing official duties in the United States?

If you answered “Yes” to the questions above, then the G visa may be appropriate for you! International Organization or G visas are issued to diplomats, other foreign government officials, and members of international organizations for travel to the U.S. on official duties. There are very specific requirements for obtaining a G visa. For example, some G visas require that the international organization, which the applicant is representing, to be on a designated list of international organizations published by the U.S. government.

To begin, here are the categories of G visa one can apply for, based on the various criteria established by the USCIS:

G VISA CATEGORIES:

  • G-1: Permanent Mission members of a recognized government to a designated international organization;
  • G-2: Representatives of a recognized government who are traveling to the U.S. temporarily to attend meetings of a designated international organization;
  • G-3: Representatives of non-recognized or non-member governments;
  • G-4: Individuals who are proceeding to the U.S. to take up an appointment at a designated international organization, including the United Nations;
  • G-5: Domestic staff of a G visa holder and the staff person’s immediate family.

WHAT DOCUMENTS DO NEED TO APPLY FOR A G VISA?

Those applying for a G visa will need:

  1. A diplomatic note: the diplomatic note is something in writing from the foreign government confirming the visa applicant’s status.
  2. A valid passport: your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the time you intend to stay in the U.S.

IS AN INTERVIEW AND FINGERPRINTING REQUIRED FOR A G VISA?

Usually, visa applications require an interview of applicants at the embassy. However, for those applying for G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visas, an interview is not mandatory, but may be requested by the Consular Officer. Also, G-1 through G-4 visa applicants do not have to do a fingerprint scan. Conversely, G-5 visa applicants, the private employees, attendants, and servants of G visa holders, are required to be interviewed and fingerprinted.

CAN BRING MY FAMILY WITH ME TO THE U.S. ON A G VISA?

As a G visa holder, you can bring your immediate family, such as your spouse and unmarried sons and daughters (of any age), along with you to the U.S.

CAN BRING MY PERSONAL EMPLOYEES? AND WHAT DOCUMENTS DO THEY NEED?

Yes. Personal employees, attendants, domestic workers, or servants of G-1 through G-4 visa holders may be issued a G-5 visa. Applicants for G-5 visas must apply abroad. As previously mentioned, an interview at the Embassy or Consulate and fingerprinting are required. The Consular Officer will determine eligibility for the G-5 visa.

WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED FOR G-5 APPLICANTS?

The G-5 visa applicant employee must bring their employment contract. The applicant must make sure both the applicant and their employer have signed it. Also, the contract must be in English and in a language that the employee can understand, to make sure he or she knows what their rights and duties are, regarding pay and working conditions. The contract also has to say that the employee will be paid at the state or federal minimum wage, whichever is greater. The G-5 applicant employee has to promise that he or she will not accept any other work while they are working for their employer, and the employer has to guarantee that he or she will not take away the employee’s passport. Also, the contract must say that both the employee and his or her employer understands that the employee cannot be forced to stay on the premises after working hours unless the employee will be paid overtime.

HOW LONG CAN STAY IN THE U.S. ON A G VISA?

G-1 through G-4 visa holders are admitted into the U.S. for “Duration of Status” (D/S), which means you can stay in the U.S. as long as the U.S. Secretary of State continues to recognize you as a member of the diplomatic category. You do not need to apply for an extension of stay. As a G-5 visa holder, you are admitted for up to 3 years. Afterward, you can apply for extensions for 2 years at a time.

CONCLUSION

If you are a foreign government official, diplomat, or member of a designated international organization coming into the Unites States for official duties, the G visa may be the right choice for you. Be sure to review the various G visa categories to determine the most appropriate one to fulfill your needs. If applicable, the organization that you are representing must be a member of the designated list of international organizations published by the United States (see below). As a G visa holder, others such as your spouse, children, and domestic staff member may be allowed to enter the United States as well.

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