Foreign Officials

Not surprisingly, the State Department issues visas to foreign governmental officials and their families under special arrangements. Usually the sending country or organization’s diplomatic office sends a note to the U.S. consulate, which may even complete the visa application on the applicant’s behalf.

Most foreign officials may be accompanied by attendants (paid by the sending entity) and servants (paid by the official) who may work only for the official or his household. An expanded set of family members may accompany or join the official, including spouse, unmarried children of any age, and even other family members who reside in the official’s household. A more limited range of such family members may seek unrestricted employment authorization in the U.S. in 3-year increments through special procedures involving diplomatic communications and reciprocity considerations.

Most foreign officials (but not their servants and attendants) are substantially immune from criminal prosecution and removal. Their children born in the U.S. are not U.S. citizens at birth, but they can easily become permanent residents and then naturalize.

The classifications of foreign government officials include:

A: Representatives of foreign governments recognized “de jure” by the U.S.;
C: Foreign government or NATO officials in transit;
G: Representatives to or of certain international organizations;
NATO: Representatives to or of NATO.

How We Can Help

The Baker Donelson Immigration Group advises and assists foreign government officials, their family members, attendants and servants about their present immigration status, work authorization and other immigration options including permanent residence. We can work with our Global Business group to help resolve unique issues that can arise for foreign officials.

Consult with us for assistance with a case.


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