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The Complete Guide to the G4 Visa
Do you need to enter the US for diplomatic reasons, and are not sure of the nuances involved? Do you need to obtain a G4 visa? Read this article to have the finer details.
What is a G4 Visa?
Technically, a G4 visa is a diplomatic visa that is issued to officers or employees of international organizations to enter into the US for a short period with the sole aim of engaging in their activities.
This is a non-immigrant visa which is also provided to the immediate family members and the staff of the principal G4 visa holders.
Who is Eligible for G4 Visa?
Any individual who is recognized as a diplomat by the US Secretary of State is eligible for a G4 visa. Add to that, G4 visa can also be granted to eligible dependents including:
- Unmarried children who are either under the age of 21 or are full-time students at a post-secondary educational institute and are below 23 years of age or who are physically or mentally challenges or children who are eligible for Fund benefits and are under the age of 26
- Under certain situations, close relatives and parents of principal G4 visa holders can also be granted a G4 visa
However, care must be taken that while you are in the US on a G4 visa, you perform only the duties related to the international organization. You should not use the entry in the US for your recreational purposes.
Documents Required for a G4 Visa
The entire process of acquiring a G4 visa is pretty straightforward. You are required to produce the following documents to ensure smooth execution:
- A non-immigrant visa application, form DS-156 or form DS-160
- An application for G4 visa
- A diplomatic note
- A valid passport
- A photograph
How to Apply for a G4 Visa?
To get a G4 visa, here are a few steps that you need to follow:
- Make a visa appointment with the nearest US consulate that issues non-immigrant G4 visas.
- Once the appointment is scheduled, notify the concerned international body you are recognized as a diplomat by to send a request for a G4 visa to the appropriate US consular office
- You will soon receive a copy of the request sent to the US consulate. Bring this copy along with your appointment letter while applying for the visa.
- That’s all. You are not required to appear for an interview when applying for a G4 visa.
How Much Does a G4 Visa Cost?
Most G visas, including G4 visa, are exempt from visa application fee. Additionally, if you hold a diplomatic passport, you might be exempted from paying visa fee irrespective of your visa type and purpose of travel. However, the final decision is taken by the US embassy on a case-by-case basis.
G4 Visa Processing Time
Due to the nature of the visa, these visas have a quick processing time. A decision normally come within a few weeks, if not a few days. You will also be informed by the US Embassy if you have received the approval or not.
If you have been provided with a visa, your passport will be mailed to you within a few days. You can also choose to pick it yourself. If approval is not provided, the US Embassy will contact you with the probable reasons behind the denial.
G4 Visa Frequently Asked Questions
If you are entering the US on a G4 visa for the first time, it is natural to have a few questions in mind. Let’s have a look at answers to some of the commonly asked questions:
Can I work on a G4 visa?
A G4 visa holder is should only perform duties related to the international organization they have arrived in the US for. They must not use their entry for personal business or purposes.
Can a G4 visa holder apply for a green card?
The primary G4 visa holder may be eligible for a green card under certain conditions:
- If you are an employee or spouse of the deceased officer of an international organization who has been in the US for at least 50% of the last 7 years. Also, you must have been living in the US for at least 15 years before your spouse died. You must also have applied for special immigration status (Form I-360) at least 6 months before your spouse died.
- If you are a retired officer of an international organization who has been in the US for at least 50% of the last 7 years. Also, you must have been living in the US for at least 15 years before you retired. Also, you must have filed for special immigration status (form I-360) at least 6 months before you retired.
- You are an unmarried son or daughter of a current or retired officer or employee of an international organization who has been in the US for at least 50% of the last 7 years. Also, you must have spent at least 7 years in the US between ages 5 and 21 and have filed for a change in status before you turned 25th.
Since G4 visa is a diplomatic non-immigrant visa, it is comparatively easier to get and involves lesser documentation. The applicant is not even required to appear for an interview.