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A - Diplomatic, Ambassadors

A Visa: Diplomatic, Ambassadors

The A nonimmigrant visa category is reserved for an individual who is seeking to enter the United States temporarily:

(i) as an ambassador, public minister, or career diplomatic or consular officer who has been accredited by a foreign government recognized de jure by the United States and who is accepted by the President or by the Secretary of State, and the members of the alien's immediate family;

(ii) upon the basis of reciprocity, other officials and employees who have been accredited by a foreign government recognized de jure by the United States, who are accepted by the Secretary of State, and the members of their immediate families;

(iii) upon the basis of reciprocity, attendants, servants, personal employees, and members of their immediate families, of the officials and employees who have nonimmigrant status under (i) and (ii) above.

As with other bodies of administrative law, the A nonimmigrant status is created pursuant to statute at Section 101(a)(15)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the "Act"), 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(A). The regulations which govern this nonimmigrant visa category may be found at 8 CFR Sec. 214(a)(1) et seq. By tracking the regulations emanating from the statute, the practitioner is afforded guidance with respect to several issues left unclarified by the statutory language.

For example, the regulations shed light on the duration of this nonimmigrant visa category. The regulations state that a foreign national who has a nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(A)(i) or (ii) of the Act is to be admitted for the duration of the period for which the alien continues to be recognized by the Secretary of State as being entitled to that status. 8 CFR Sec. 214(a)(1).

The regulations also state that an alien who is defined in section 101(a)(15)(A)(iii) of the Act is to be admitted for an initial period of not more than three years, and may be granted extensions of temporary stay in increments of not more than two years. 8 CFR Sec.214(a)(1).

The regulations also indicate that an extension of temporary stay must be accompanied by a statement signed by the employing official stating that he/she intends to continue to employ the applicant, and that a statement must be made which describes the type of work that the applicant will perform.

From a practical standpoint, it is unlikely that the practitioner is likely to encounter many A nonimmigrant visas; however, the foregoing "walk-through" the statute to the appropriate regulations begins to build a template for the analysis that is required with respect to each one of the nonimmigrant visa categories.

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