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Diplomatic Visas

Diplomats, Government Officials, and Employees of International Organizations

U.S. Embassies and consulates are currently experiencing technical difficulties due to systems maintenance that may result in delays in U.S. passport and visa processing and receiving and sending email.  U.S. citizens may also experience delays in response to their email inquiries.  U.S. citizens requiring emergency assistance should contact their embassy or consulate by telephone.  Additionally, applicants who have interviews for student and exchange visitor (F/M/J) visas scheduled for this week should bring proof of payment for SEVIS fee.

Please click here for a list of holidays when the embassy will be closed. Only complete applications which include all necessary supporting documentation will be accepted.  Urgent questions including official travel of government or international organization officials within the next 10 days should be directed to our office by phone.

Required Documentation for ALL applicants:

All applicants for A, G, or C-2 or C-3 visas must include the following items:

  • A passport valid for at least 6 months after the intended arrival date in the United States.
  • A completed and submitted electronic visa application form DS-160. Pristina is not yet listed in the application system (DS-160); applicants should continue to choose Skopje when completing their application.
  • A full-face photo not older than six months as described here.
  • Diplomatic Note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or official request from the appropriate international organization - This note is written confirmation from your country’s government of your status and official purpose of travel. A-3 applicants also require diplomatic notes to confirm the official status of their employers. Beginning July 1, 2014, the sending government must provide the following information in the diplomatic note submitted with any A-1 or A-2 visa application outside the United States, and for any request for a change into such visa status in the United States:

The note should include the following information concerning the principal applicant:

          (1)  Name and date of birth, 

          (2)  Position and title,

          (3)  Place of assignment or visit,

          (4)  Purpose of travel,

          (5)  Brief description of duties,

          (6)  Travel date,

          (7)  Anticipated length of stay or tour of duty in the United States, and

          (8)  The names, relationships, and dates of birth of any dependents and other members of household who will be accompanying or joining the principal.

Immediate family members are defined here.  Additional documentation required as described below, depending on visa class.

Official Visas (A)

With the exception of a Head of State, or Government who qualifies for an A-1 visa regardless of his/her purpose of visit to the United States, the type of visa required by a diplomat or Government official depends upon the reason for entering the United States.

To qualify for an A-1 or A-2 visa, the individual concerned must be traveling to the United States on behalf of his or her national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining whether or not the applicant qualifies for an A visa; the particular duties or services to be performed must also be of an inherently governmental character or nature. Important note: Foreign officials traveling to the United States on official business must obtain an "A" visa prior to their entry. They cannot travel on tourist or business visas.

C Visas: Diplomats & Officials in Transit

This visa is for a government official who needs immediate transit through the U.S. to conduct official business on behalf of a foreign government in another country or the UN Headquarters in New York.

  •  C-2 is for an official (or unaccredited media representative) of a government not recognized de jure by the U.S. who needs to transit to the UN Headquarters in New York
  • C-3 is for an accredited government official, their immediate family and their attendants who need immediate transit through the U.S. to transact official business in another country

International Organizations (G)

To qualify for a G visa the individual concerned must be entering the United States in pursuance of official duties. Members of a permanent mission of a recognized government to an international organization are eligible for G-1 visas; representatives of a recognized government traveling to the United States temporarily to attend meetings of a designated international organization are eligible for G-2 visa and representatives of non-recognized or non-member governments are eligible for G-3 visas; G-4 visas are issued to individual personnel who are proceeding to the United States to take up an appointment at a designated international organization, including the United Nations.

An application for a G visa cannot be processed without an official request from the appropriate international organization. For the United Nations, the request must be sent directly to the Embassy.  See here for additional information.  

United Nations Visas (G)

Applicants who are employees of the United Nations traveling on official business to the United Nations Headquarters in the United States must provide the following in addition to the requirements above: 

  1. Passport or UN Laissez-Passer issued by the applicant's country of nationality. 
  2. Letter from the UN Chief of Transportation detailing applicant's itinerary. 
  3. A completed and submitted electronic visa application form DS-160.
  4. One full-faced photo not older than six months.

An application for a G visa cannot be processed without an official request from the appropriate international organization. For the United Nations, the request must be sent directly to the Embassy.

Diplomatic Visas

Visa type (diplomatic, official and regular) is distinct from visa classification (A, B, C, D, E etc.).  An otherwise eligible applicant would qualify for a diplomatic type visa if within one of the categories listed in 22 CFR 41.26(c), regardless of the visa classification. 

Designating a visa as a “diplomatic” type visa does not accord diplomatic privileges and immunities to the visa holder.  Rather, the Vienna Convention and other instruments of international law determine whether an alien benefits from diplomatic privileges and immunities. At the port of entry (POE), the holder of a diplomatic visa may receive expeditious examination but otherwise must qualify for admission like other nonimmigrants. 

Thus, possession of a diplomatic passport or the equivalent, is not by itself sufficient to qualify for a diplomatic type visa under 22 CFR 41.26(c)(1).  However, a diplomatic passport or the equivalent is required in order to issue a diplomatic type visa under 22 CFR 41.26(c)(1).

Applicants who are eligible for Diplomatic tourist visas under these regulations may follow the same instructions as for official visas above, with the following exceptions:  1) The Diplomatic Note should clearly state the purpose of travel is personal and 2) the applicant must email consularpristina@state.gov to schedule an appointment to appear for interview and biometrics collection.

In accordance with 22 CFR 41.107(c)(1), all qualifying applicants for diplomatic type visas are exempt from both the application (MRV) and issuance (reciprocity) fees, regardless of visa classification.  This includes applications submitted for either official or non-official travel.

Overseas, common positions which may qualify for Diplomatic Visas include:

  • Ambassadors, public ministers, other officers of the diplomatic service and consular officers of career;
  • Military officers holding a rank not inferior to that of a brigadier general in the United States Army or Air Force and Naval officers holding a rank not inferior to that of a rear admiral in the United States Navy;
  • Mililary, naval, air and other attaché and assistant attaché assigned to a foreign diplomatic mission;
  • Officers of foreign-government delegations to international organizations so designated by Executive Order;

Please see the complete list referenced above for further information.

Standard Diplomatc/Official Visa Application Procedure

If the applying applicant is qualified, the Embassy processes the visa and notifies the employing organization to arrange for pick up.

If the applicant does not qualify for a diplomatic or official visa, the Embassy returns the application to the applicant or courier. The applicant will be directed to 1)  wait for administrative processing to finish, 2) provide further documentation, or 3) to reapply and fill out a DS-160 application in the correct visa class, then book a visa appointment through the online appointment booking system or call center. Such applicants must pay the visa application fee (unless they have a diplomatic passport) and bring the receipt to the Embassy in Skopje on the day of the interview. Applicants should provide, at the time of their visa interview, a diplomatic note attesting to their purpose of travel.

Government officials or members of international organizations that do not qualify for diplomatic or official visas must use regular visa appointment procedure in Skopje. For further details please click here.

Government and International Organization officials who are currently in the United States may renew their visas while still in the United States.  Please see the website here for additional information.

Visa Processing and Issuance Fees

Most diplomatic passport holders are exempt from paying visa fees for all types of visas.  Official passport holders are not charged for official visas, but are required to pay visa application and reciprocal issuance fees if applicabale, for all non-official visas. 

Official visas can be entered into any type of passport - regular, official or diplomatic.

Third-Country Officials

The U.S. Embassy can issue official visas to citizens of third countries (countries other than Kosovo or the U.S.), assigned to Kosovo, traveling to the United States on behalf of their governments on receipt of an endorsed request from their Embassy.

Official visas cannot be issued to third-country nationals at the request of another government. Such travelers must obtain a diplomatic note or other endorsement from their own Embassy.

Reminders

We always recommend that individuals apply for visas well in advance of their proposed date of travel. No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore, final travel plans or the purchase of non refundable ticket should not be made until a visa has been issued and you are in receipt of the passport.

Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date.  Therefore, a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid.  If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport.  You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.

Further Information

Diplomats and foreign government officials may direct inquiries to ConsularPristina@state.gov. The Department of State website also provides further information on travel for diplomats and foreign government officials.

The loss or theft of any U.S. visa (valid or expired) must be immediately reported to consularpristina@state.gov.