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A-1 Visa - Frequently Asked Questions


Can dependents on A-1 visas apply for change of status?

Dependents on A-1 visas wishing to change status need to change to E, H, or I status to accept a job offer, or change to F-1 or J-1 status to complete a college education in lawful status. When the change in the principal's status has been recorded in the Accreditation Office, the Visa Office will make a positive recommendation on the dependent's USCIS Form I-566.

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How do I apply for change of status on A-1 visa?

The process followed is:

  • For changes to, or from A-1 status, USCIS Form Form I-566 should be submitted to the DOS through the mission
  • When the change is from one diplomatic status to another, the I-566 should be submitted through the new duty station, rather than the previous one
  • If USCIS Form I-566 is returned with a recommendation for approval, the application to the USCIS is made on Form I-539, submitted to the USCIS Service Center with jurisdiction over your place of residence, and accompanied by a copy of USCIS Form I-94
  • You should enclose either the DOS Form DS-394 (Notification of Foreign Government Related Employment Status) or Form DS-1497 (Notification of Appointment of Foreign Diplomatic Officer)
  • Dependents applying for the same status are included in the same form. There is no fee for changes to A status, or from one A status to another

Note: When the desired status is a diplomatic one and the Department of State has been duly notified of the new appointment, these changes are accomplished smoothly and without difficulty. Potential complications loom, however, when the desired change is from A to non-diplomatic category.

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