These visas are visas whose sole purpose is to allow employees of international organizations and NATO to enter the U.S.
The U.S not only has nonimmigrant visas for different professions and students but also has diplomatic and official visas like:
- Visas for foreign government officials visiting the U.S on official duties;
- G visas for officials and employees of international organizations visiting for official duties;
- NATO visas for officials of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization visiting for official duties.
In this article, we will go through everything you need to know about G visas and NATO visas.
What is a G Visa and a NATO Visa?
These two types of visas serve as a visa to allow employees from international organizations (G visa) to enter the U.S, as well as NATO employees (NATO visa). These employees must be tasked with official duties if they come to the U.S with this visa. If they consider visiting the U.S for tourism or something else, they must get another type of visa which is more appropriate for the reason for travel.
NATO or the international organization to which the worker is employed must prove that the person is being sent on official work duties.
These two visas are intended only for one purpose, to let officials work in the U.S only for the period of time that their official duties last. These employees must not use this visa for any other purpose, other than work.
During the period of time that they spend in the U.S, they cannot work for another employer. Also, they mustn’t overstay their visas or try to enroll in a university. Furthermore, if the official qualifies for the Visa Waiver Program they must still apply for G or NATO visa. They cannot enter the U.S for official work if they are with the Visa Waiver Program.
What Are the Types of G Visas?
This visa has 5 types, and they are the following:
- G-1 visa for permanent mission members of a recognized government who work for an international organization and their dependents;
- G-2 visa for representatives of a recognized government traveling to the U.S for meetings of an international organization and their dependents;
- G-3 visa for representatives of a non-recognized or non-member government and their dependents;
- G-4 visa for individuals traveling to the U.S to be appointed to an international organization including the United Nations, and their dependents;
- G-5 visa for personal employees or domestic workers of G-1 to G-4 visa holders.
What Are the Types of NATO Visas?
There are 7 types of NATO visas:
- NATO-1 visa for permanent members of NATO or any of its subsidiaries, or for staff members of principal NATO representatives;
- NATO-2 visa for representatives of members states of NATO or any of its subsidiaries, or advisors/technical experts to a NATO delegation;
- NATO-3 visa for a member of the official clerical staff accompanying representatives of member states to NATO or any of its subsidiaries;
- NATO-4 visa for foreign nationals classified as NATO officials;
- NATO-5 visa for foreign nationals classified as NATO experts;
- NATO-6 visa for members of a civilian component of NATO;
- NATO-7 visa for attendants or personal employees of NATO-1 to NATO-6 visas.
What Are the Requirements for G Visas and NATO Visas?
In order to be qualified to get one of these visas, workers of international organizations or NATO need to prove that they are sent by their employers meaning the corresponding international organization or NATO. They need to provide enough evidence to show they have official duties to take care of in the U.S.
The officials are strictly obliged to follow the rules and not get one of these visas if they are not on official duty.
The officials from these international organizations must prove that the particular organization is recognized by the US and the president.
In some special cases, people are exempt from needing to get a NATO visa. This can only happen if the person is a member of the armed forces and is:
- Attached to the NATO Allied Headquarters in the U.S. and is on official duties;
- Entering the U.S under the NATO Status of Forces Agreement
If this is the case, the person in question must enter the U.S on a military aircraft or a naval vessel. Upon their arrival, a valid ID must be shown, as well as all supporting documents from NATO. If the family is also traveling to the U.S they will need a valid NATO visa or entry to the U.S will not be granted.
How to Apply for a G Visa or NATO Visa?
Both G visa and NATO visa have a similar set of steps, as follows:
Step 1: File Form DS-160 or Form DS-1648
This form is considered the main form of applying for this visa. You can find it and fill it out online. Basic background questions are included in the form and the main reasons for wanting the visa. If you are applying for a G-1 to G-4 visa or a NATO-1 to NATO-6 visa for the first time, you must use Form DS-160.
After submitting it, you get a confirmation page which you will need to attach to the other documents.
However, if you have held a G-1 to G-4 visa or NATO-1 to NATO-6 visa, you have to apply with Form DS-1648, which can be found online.
Step 2: Submit supporting documents
Supporting documents need to be attached to the application, this way the Embassy can properly evaluate if you are qualified to get one of these visas. The document list is as follows:
- A passport which must be valid for more than 6 months after your return from the U.S.;
- Form DS-160 confirmation page;
- Photos which meet the Photograph Requirements;
- Diplomatic note from the international organization or NATO confirming your status and explaining your duties in the U.S. The letter must include:
- The employee name, date of birth, job title, the name of the international organization the person will be working for, description of duties, travel dates, and length of stay in the U.S.;
- The same information on the dependents of the employee if they are accompanying him or her.
Keep in mind, that the Embassy might request additional documents depending on a person’s application.
Step 3: Visa Interview
An interview is only obligatory for those who are applying for G-5 or NATO-7 visa, while the rest don’t need an interview. The interview is held in the country in which the official is applying for a visa. Questions will be asked closely related application information regarding one’s visa.
What are the fees for G visa and NATO visas?
The bigger part of G visa and NATO visa applications are with no fees. However, in some cases, the Embassy decides depending on different factors whether a person should pay fees.
How long are the G visa and NATO visa processing time?
These types of visa applications have quick processing times. If a decision isn’t received by the applicant in a few days, they will do so within weeks. The Embassy sends notice whether the person is approved or denied.
If you are approved, the passport will be sent to you via mail within days. And if you got denied you will receive an explanation to why they’ve made that decision.
How long are the G visas and NATO visas valid for?
The G-1 to G-4 visas and NATO-1 to NATO-6 have no time limit. Most of the time they are issued for a few years, but they can be extended or renewed in the U.S. Officials are allowed to stay in the country as long as their official duties require.
G-5 or NATO-7 holders have a valid time on their visa of 3 years. They can request an extension for a two-year-plus, but they cannot do that in the U.S.
People who hold G-5 and NATO-7 visas are only allowed renewal if they are still working for the same employer. If not, they must apply for new visas.
If for any reason at all, an official who has G or NATO visas is not an official of NATO or an international organization, they lose their status in the U.S and must apply for a new visa or return to their home country.
Can I bring my family to the U.S with G or NATO visa?
These visa holders can bring their family to the U.S. But only their immediate family, which include:
- The spouse of the primary visa holder who will live in the same household;
- Any unmarried legal sons or daughters of the primary visa holder who will live in the same household if:
- They are under 21 years old;
- Under 23 years old and full-time students at post-secondary educational institutions.
If the children do not qualify in the above-mentioned requirements, they can still get a visa if:
- They will live in the same household as the primary visa holder;
- They are not part of another household;
- The international organization or NATO guarantees that the person qualifies as an immediate family member through supporting documents.
Also, those who are related to the visa holder by adoption, blood, or marriage can get a visa if the above conditions are met.
Families of those who hold G-1 to G-4 and NATO-1 to NATO-6 visas can work in the U.S. But they must apply for employment authorization with filing Form I-566, Interagency Record of Request – A, G, or NATO Dependent Employment Authorization. The form needs to be sent to the Department of State by NATO or the international organization.
Can I bring my personal employees with G or NATO visa?
G-5 and NATO-7 visas are for domestic employees of the G-1 to G-4 and NATO-1 to NATO-6 officials. These visas can be obtained with the supporting documents that their employers provide. The following documents need to be sent to the Embassy:
- Proof that they can speak English or a language that their employer understands;
- Employment contract which must include these sections:
- Description of the duties the employee will perform;
- The hours of work;
- The hourly wage that the employee will be paid which must be higher than the minimum wage specified in the U.S Federal and State law;
- The conditions for any overtime work;
- The way the salary will be paid to the employee in a U.S bank account and the request that the employee save all payment records for 3 years after their employment ends;
- The transportation of the employee to and from the U.S.
- Other terms such as:
- The employee’s passport must not be in the possession of the employer;
- The employee is not required to stay in the employer’s residence except during working hours;
- The employee must not work for any other employer during their time in the U.S.
- Other conditions as per U.S laws.
Can I get a Green Card with a G visa or NATO visa?
If the following conditions are met, the primary visa holder and his dependents can be eligible to obtain a green card if:
- If you’re a retired officer or representative of an international organization who has been in the U.S for half of the most recent 7 years before you applied for a Green Card. Also, you must have lived in the U.S for at least 15 years before you retired and you have filled in (Form I-360) half-year after retirement.
- If you are the spouse of a deceased officer or employee of an international organization that has been in the U.S more than 50 percent of the last 7 years. Furthermore, you must have been a resident of the U.S for a minimum of 15 years before the death of your spouse and submitted Form I-360 at least 6 months after the death of your spouse.
- If you are an unmarried son or daughter of a current or former officer or employee of an international organization who has been present in the U.S for at least 50% of the last 7 years before you applied for a Green Card. Also, you must have lived in the U.S for at least 7 years between ages 5 and 21 and you have filed for adjustment of status before or on your 25th.