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Diplomatic and Official Visas (A, G, and C-3)
May 27, 2022

If you are traveling to the United States on official business for a foreign government or for an international organization or mission, you may apply for a diplomatic or official visa (A, G, or C-3 visa).

Processing Times: Normal A&G visa processing time takes a minimum of five (5) working days from the time the Embassy receives a completed visa application and all required documents. 

Hours of Operation:  Diplomatic and official visa applications for official travel are accepted at Window 10, Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., except U.S. and Philippine Holidays.  Most qualified applicants are not required to appear for an interview with a consular officer and are exempt from visa application fees. 

Contact: For questions or information about official visas, you may directly send your email inquiry to ManilaDIP@state.gov.

A Visas

With the exception of a head of state or government, the type of visa required by a diplomat or other government official depends upon his or her reason for entering the United States.

To qualify for an A-1 or A-2 visa, the individual concerned must be traveling to the United States on behalf of his or her national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. Government officials traveling on behalf of a province, borough, or other local political entity do not qualify for “A” visa status; they require B-1 or B-2 visas.

Note: Government officials traveling to the United States to perform functions that are not inherently governmental in nature, including commercial, educational, or personal travel, require an H, L or B1/B2 visa. In general, B1/B2 visa applicants are required to personally appear at the Embassy for an interview. There is a visa application fee for H, L, B-1/B-2 visa applicants. A-1 or A-2 applicants are exempt from this visa-processing fee.

G Visas

To qualify for a G visa, the applicant must be entering the United States for official duties. Members of a permanent mission of a recognized government to an international organization are eligible for G-1 visas; representatives of a recognized government traveling temporarily to attend meetings of a designated international organization are eligible for G-2 visas; representatives of non-recognized or nonmember governments are eligible for G-3 visas; and G-4 visas are issued to individual personnel who are proceeding to the United States to take up an appointment at a designated international organization, including the United Nations. This visa classification is also exempt from the visa application fee.

C-3 Visas

C-3 is a classification for foreign government officials and members of their families and their attendants, servants, or personal employees seeking merely to transit through the United States to another country for official purposes.

Visas for Immediate Family Members of Diplomats

Immediate family members of the A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visa holders are entitled to derivative status in the same classification as the principal applicant if they seek to accompany or “follow to join” the primary visa holder. Immediate family member is defined as the spouse and unmarried son or daughter under 21 years of age. An immediate family member may also be a person who will reside regularly in the principal applicant’s household, is not a member of some other household, and is recognized as your immediate family member 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 travel and other allowances. See https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/other-visa-categories/visas-diplomats.html for additional information about members of household.

A family member who does not qualify for derivative status as described above may qualify for a visitor (B-2) visa.  Visitor visa applicants are required to come for visa interview and will need to pay visa application and issuance fees, if applicable.

How to Apply

  1. Complete the electronic nonimmigrant visa application form (DS-160) and print the confirmation page – https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-ds160info.asp.
  2. Complete any additional documentary requirements stated below.
  3. Obtain a valid passport (Regular, Official or Diplomatic)
  4. Print a recent (taken within the last 6 months) photo according to the standards at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-photoinfo.asp
  5. Submit the above documentation to the U.S. Embassy at Window 10. Diplomatic and official visa applications are accepted Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 am., except U.S. and Philippine holidays.

Documentary Requirement For Principal Applicants

A formal request from the appropriate foreign office, mission, or international organization provides written confirmation of the applicant’s status and official purpose of travel to the United States. For A or C-3 visa holders, the request is typically issued by the sending country’s ministry of foreign affairs as a diplomatic note, although other offices may also issue a note. For G visa holders, the note is typically issued by the sending government or supporting international organization.

The note must contain:

  • Name and date of birth
  • 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, and
  • The names, relationships, and dates of birth of any dependents and other members of household who will be accompanying or joining the principal, if applicable.

Note: For any formal assignment (not training or temporary posting) of greater than 90 days, the diplomatic notes must originate from the sending country’s Ministry of Foreign of Affairs and not an embassy.

Additional Documentary Requirements for Immediate Family Members

  • Proof of the principal’s status – Diplomatic Note or its equivalent from the principal’s current employer
  • Copy of principal’s nonimmigrant A or G visa
  • In the absence of a diplomatic or official passport, applicants must provide an original  marriage or birth certificate on PSA paper as proof of relationship.

Note on submission and pick-up:  A representative from the sending agency may submit documents and pick-up passports on behalf of a visa applicant or applicants.  The agency representative must present valid identification issued by the agency. A personal representative may also submit documents and pick up passports but must have a written authorization letter signed by the applicant with a copy of his or her valid ID with signature.