What is a G visa and a NATO visa?
G visas are visas that allow employees of international organizations to enter the United States. NATO visas serve the same purpose, but are only for NATO employees. Officials of international organizations and NATO must perform official duties at their employers. Otherwise, if they want to enter the United States in any other capacity, they will have to obtain different visas. If they come for tourism, then tourist visas are more appropriate.
The international organization the employee works for or NATO must demonstrate that they are sending the person for work activities such as meetings or workshops.
The employee is permitted to enter and remain in the United States with any G or NATO visa. They are simply need to stay for the duration of formal business. This is why, very often, G visas and NATO visas are only valid for the period of time the person is performing duties in the United States. The employee cannot use this visa for any purpose other than their job.
While in the United States, the officer may not work for any other employer. They are not allowed to enroll in a university or attempt to extend the duration of their visa. In addition, even if an individual is eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, they still need to apply for a NATO or G visa. Officials of international organizations or NATO are not permitted to enter the United States on official duties under the Visa Waiver Program.
What are the types of G visas?
According to US rules, there are 5 types of G visas as follows:
- G-1 visa for members of permanent missions of a recognized government working for an international organization and their dependents
- G-2 visa for representatives of a recognized government traveling to the United States 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 United States for appointment to an international organization that includes the United Nations and their dependents
- G-5 visa for personal dependents 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, as follows:
- NATO-1 visa for permanent members of NATO or one of its branches, or for staff members of NATO’s principal representatives
- NATO-2 visa for representatives of NATO member states or any of its branches, or consultants/technical experts of a NATO delegation
- NATO-3 visa for an official employee accompanying representatives of member states to NATO or one of its branches
- NATO-4 visa for foreign nationals classified as NATO officials
- NATO-5 visa for foreign citizens classified as NATO experts
- NATO-6 visa for members of a civilian component of NATO
- NATO-7 visa for personal assistants or dependents of NATO-1 to NATO-6 visas.
What are the requirements for G visas and NATO visas?
To receive any of the G visas or NATO visas, officials must demonstrate that they have been sent by the corresponding international organizations or NATO. They must submit proof of the duties they will have in the United States. to demonstrate eligibility for visas.
Applicants cannot under any circumstances obtain a G or NATO visa if they are not performing official duties.
Those applying for the G visa must demonstrate that the international organization is recognized by the government and the president of the United States.
Some officials are exempt from the requirement to obtain a NATO visa. This only applies if the person traveling belongs to armed forces personnel and is:
Assigned to NATO Allied Headquarters in the United States. and carries out official duties
Entering the country in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement between NATO
If you are traveling as a military personnel, you are generally required to enter the United States aboard a military aircraft or naval vessel. At the point of entry, you must present your military identity card and NATO supporting documents. If you have a family traveling with you, they must have a valid NATO visa otherwise they will not be allowed to enter the United States.
How to apply for a G visa or NATO visa?
The steps to apply for G visas or NATO visas are similar and are as follows.
File Form DS-160 or Form DS-1648:
Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application is the primary visa application form in the United States. It is available online for you to view and respond to its questions. The form mainly asks for basic information and the purpose of the trip. Only if you are applying for a G-1 to G-4 visa or a NATO-1 to NATO-6 visa for the first time, must you utilize Form DS-160.
After completing the DS-160 form online, save the confirmation page provided to you. The page will come in handy later on to attach to your documents.
Alternatively, if you previously held a G-1 to G-4 or NATO-1 to NATO-6 visa, use form DS-1648, Online Application for A, G, and NATO Visas.
Submit supporting documents:
In addition to the main application forms, supporting documents must also be attached. They will be used by the US Embassy to evaluate your application and visa eligibility. Prepare a file with these documents:
- A passport that must be valid for more than 6 months after returning from the United States
- DS-160 Form Confirmation Page
- Photos that meet US visa photography requirements
- Diplomatic note from the international organization or NATO confirming your status and explaining your duties in the United States. The letter must include:
- The employee’s name, date of birth, job title, name of the international organization for which the individual will work, description of duties, travel dates, and length of stay in the United States
- The same information as the employee’s dependents accompanies the employee.
- The U.S. Embassy may request additional documents based on the individual’s location and purpose of visit to the United States.
The United States does not require a visa interview for those applying for a G-1 to G-4 or NATO-1 to NATO-6 visa. Only those applying for a G-5 or NATO-7 visa will need to attend a visa interview at the US Embassy where they submit their application. The interviewer will ask about your application and then make a decision regarding your visa.
What are the fees for G visas and NATO visas?
Most G or NATO visa applicants are exempt from visa application fees. However, the American embassy decides on a case-by-case basis whether someone should pay taxes or not.
How long is the processing time for G visa and NATO visa?
G visas and NATO visas have fast processing times. If officials don’t make a decision within a few days, they will within a few weeks. The US Embassy will send you a notice whether or not you have obtained a visa.
If you are approved, they will send your passport back to you within a few days or you can go and collect it. If you are not approved, the notice will let you know why your visa was denied.
How long are G visas and NATO visas valid?
G-1 to G-4 and NATO-1 to NATO-6 visas have no time limits. They are issued for a few years, but officials can renew them in the United States. Officials may remain in the United States as long as they perform duties within the country.
Those who have a G-5 or NATO-7 visa are valid for up to 3 years. After 3 years, they can apply for visa extensions for further 2 year increments. But those who have these visas cannot renew them while in the United States. They must return to their home countries and apply for renewal from there.
Those with a G-5 or NATO-7 visa can only renew their visa if they will be working for the same employer. If they change employers, they must apply for a new visa from the beginning.
If at any time, a person who has a G or NATO visa is not an official of international organizations or NATO, she will lose her status in the United States. They must apply for a different type of visa to change their status or return to their home countries.
Can I bring my family to the United States on a G or NATO visa?
Officials with G or NATO visas can bring their family members with them to the United States. However, they can only bring their immediate relatives. Close family members are:
The spouse of the primary visa holder who will live in the same household
Any legal unmarried son or daughter of the principal visa holder who will live in the same household if:
- They are under 21 years old
- Under 23 and full-time students at post-secondary education institutions.
- If the son or daughter of the principal visa holder does not meet the requirements under the above conditions, he or she can still obtain a visa if:
- They will live in the same household as the primary visa holder
- They are not part of another family
- The international organization or NATO guarantees that the person qualifies as a close family member through supporting documents.
- Persons related to the primary visa holder by blood, adoption or marriage can also obtain a visa if they meet the above conditions.
Immediate family members of G-1 through G-4 or NATO-1 through NATO-6 visa holders may be authorized to work in the United States. They must request an employment authorization by submitting Form I-566, Interagency Record of Request – A, G, or NATO Dependent Employment Authorization. The form must be submitted to the Department of State by the international organization for which the primary visa holder works or by NATO.
Can I bring my personal dependents on a G or NATO visa?
As explained above, G-5 and NATO-7 visas are intended for staff or domestic dependents of officials from G-1 to G-4 and NATO-1 to NATO-7. They can obtain these visas through the supporting documents provided by their employers. They must submit the following documents to the US Embassy:
- Proof that they can speak English or a language understood by their employer
- Employment contract which must include these sections:
- Description of the tasks that the employee will perform
- Working hours
- The hourly wage that will be paid to the employee, which must be greater than the minimum wage specified in United States federal and state law
- The conditions for any overtime work
- The manner in which the salary will be paid to the employee into a US bank account and the requirement that the employee retain all records of payments for 3 years after the termination of employment
Transportation of the employee to and from the United States.
Other terms like:
- The employee’s passport does not need to be in the possession of the employer
- The worker is not obliged to stay at the employer’s home except during working hours
- The employee must not work for any other employer while in the United States.
- Other conditions under US law
Can I get a green card with a G visa or NATO visa?
The primary holder of the G or NATO visa and his or her dependents may be eligible to obtain a Green Card if they meet one of the following conditions:
If you are a retired official or employee of an international organization who has been in the United States for at least 50% of the last 7 years before applying for the Green Card. You must also have lived in the United States for at least 15 years before going retired and have applied for Special Immigration Status (Form I-360) at least 6 months after retirement.
If you are the spouse of a deceased officer or employee of an international organization who has been present in the United States for at least 50% of the last 7 years before applying for the Green Card. You must also have lived in the United States for at least 15 years before of your spouse’s death and have filed for Special Immigration Status (Form I-360) at least 6 months after your spouse’s death.
If you are the unmarried son or daughter of a current or former officer or employee of an international organization who has been present in the United States for at least 50% of the last 7 years before applying for the Green Card. You must also have lived in the United States for at least 7 years between the ages of 5 and 21 and have applied for adjustment of status before or on your 25th