What you need to know regarding the A-1 status
- In order to obtain the A-1 status, one must have their application accepted by the President or the Secretary of State and one will not be accepted under this category if they simply possess a diplomatic passport or they are a government official.
- A spouse and unmarried dependent children, sons and daughters are elbigible for employment if permission is granted.
How do you obtain such permission?
- Must seek permission.
- Employment is permitted upon recommendation of Department of State (DOS) only if there is a formal bilateral employment agreement or informal de facto reciprocal agreement.
- An applicant cannot work in a Schedule B position or if his or her employment is contrary to the interest of the U.S. which includes prior unauthorized employment or failure to pay income tax on money previously earned.
- The application for employment for dependents must be filed at the Nebraska Service Center. In addition, spouses battered or subjected to extreme cruelty are eligible for work authorization, INA §106, to be filed with the Vermont Service Center unit that adjudicates VAWA self-petitions, U and T visas.
- Where work authorization is sought pursuant to a formal agreement or an informal de facto reciprocal arrangement, the dependent under needs to:
- File I-566 with Office of Protocol at DOS. The DOS makes recommendation and if positive dependent applies to USCIS.
- For approval one needs to demonstrate: (i) alien will be here more than 6 months; (ii) has qualification for position under 214.2(a)(2); (iii) not Schedule B work (i.e., oversupply), except if full time student working 20 hrs; (iv) reciprocity of work in foreign country; (v) alien must not have criminal record, violated DHS laws, including unauthorized employment, or failed to pay taxes.
- There is no appeal after denial.
- Approval is awarded in 2-year increments.
- Overstays: The provisions of INA §222(g) concerning overstays, that they must return to their country of origin to obtain a new visa are inapplicable to A-1 and A-2 visa holders. A-3s however, are subject to INA §222(g). 9 FAM 41.22 N.4.4(c).
- Legal Permanet Resident Status: Children of diplomats born in the U.S. are considered to be Legal Permanent Residents, unless they abandon their residency by returning to their home country with their parents.
- You are NOT deportable for working without a permission: One is not deportable for employment without permission, even if it is a violation of status. The USCIS will only notify DOS of the visa status, but will not deport as long as DOS accepts credentials of diplomat. The USCIS will not even notify DOS if the job involves “educational, nursing and cultural pursuits.”