Diplomatic Visas: Change Of Status, Adjustment Of Status And Out Of Status
I have noticed that there is little to none information online regarding diplomatic visas, such as A and G. I feel it comes from a general assumption that those visas reserve for such a small percentage of “high officials”, that they will never ever need a regular Immigration lawyer in the US. The reality though is very different. Many come on A or G or N visas to perform functions other than being an ambassador or a consular. Many holders of such visas face the same hurdles as other US visa holders: they have questions on how to become a permanent resident in the US; if they can change their status in the US to some other status, and they are curious about how to receive a US employment authorization for their children. Here, I will provide general points regarding the issues above.
Being In Status
First, persons in A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4 status are admitted to the US for the duration of status (D/S). It means that there is no defined time limit for their admission, and the time limit is determined by the assignment itself. A-3, G-5visa holders, admitted for a certain period.
Change Of Status
A person on a diplomatic visa who wishes to change their status, let’s say to a B1 or an F1, has to first terminate their diplomatic status. An employed person would have to resign and ask his/her mission to file special forms with the DOS Office of Foreign Missions or the UN’s Protocol and Liaison Services. Two copies of Form I-566 will have to be submitted by the foreign mission of the international organization to DOS. Documents supporting a change of status request have to be submitted as well. Once DOS makes its recommendation, documents will be returned to the submitting agency for further processing with USCIS.
Adjustment Of Status
An adjustment of status is when a person applies for a green card (lawful permanent resident status) in the US rather than in their home country. Every applicant for adjustment status who has or had a diplomatic visa and did not relinquish her diplomatic privileges will have to submit form I-508 together with her application for adjustment of status. In addition, those in active status will have to also submit form I-566. Unlike for change of status, form I-566 will not have to be first endorsed by a Foreign Mission or an International organization or DOS.