“A’ visas are issued to representatives of a foreign government traveling to the United States to engage in official activities for that government. ‘A’ visa status only pertains to officials traveling to the United States on behalf of their national government. INA section 101(a) (15) (A) (i) (ii) & (iii) defines certain nonimmigrant aliens that are eligible to enter the United States under A Visa Category.
Officers of permanent diplomatic missions or consular posts in the U.S. such as ambassadors, public minister, career, diplomatic or consular officer, and members of his or her immediate family who work on behalf of their national government are admitted to the United States under A Visa Category. The officials who are admitted under this category are usually classified as A-1Visa holders. INA section 101(a)(15)(A)(i). Other officials and employees who have been accredited by a foreign national government recognized dejure by the United States, who are accepted by the Secretary of State, and the members of their immediate families are admitted to the United States under A visa -category. The officials who are admitted to the United States under this category are usually classified as A-2 visa holders. INA Section 101(a)(15)(A)(ii).
Also, attendants, servants, personal employees, and members of their immediate families, of the officials and employees who have a nonimmigrant status under A-1, and A-2 above also may be admitted in the United States under A Visa Category, and these nonimmigrant are usually classified as A-3 visa holders. INA Section 101(a)(15(A)(iii). Local government officials traveling on behalf of their state, province, borough, or other local political entity do not qualify for ‘A’ visa status. An alien who is admitted to the United States is entitled to certain privileges that immune them from trying in the United States under U.S. laws for any crime committed; and will be able to travel through out United States and outside the United States unlimited times. Also, obtaining visa is easy comparative with other categories. However, these privileges may be waived under certain circumstances.
Usually, an alien under this category 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. In addition, the application for 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 describing the type of work the applicant will perform.
Under A Visa category one will be able to live in the United States as long as the secretary of the state continues to recognize you as member of diplomatic community. Resignation, from a diplomatic position itself does not terminate one’s diplomat status. There are precedents stating that resignation, even when submitted in writing.
Also, dependents of A visa officials may be able to obtain employment in the United States, however, they need to follow certain procedures to obtain employment authorization. Dependents who are granted employment authorization under this section are responsible for payment of all federal, state and local income, employment and related taxes and Social Security contributions on any remuneration received. In addition, immunity from civil or administrative jurisdiction in accordance with Article 37 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations or other international agreements does not apply to these dependents with respect to matters arising out of their employment.
An alien who is admitted under A Visa category, whether it is principal alien or its dependent, engages in employment outside the scope of, or in a manner contrary to the provision provided under this category may be considered in violation of INA section 241(a)(1)(C)(i)
An alien who is admitted to the United States under this category is generally will be able to change his status into another nonimmigrant category or immigrant category. However, one needs to file waiver with the USICIS to obtain permission to change his or her status from A Visa Status.