The A-3 visa is granted to the employees, servants and attendants of officials and employees who hold an A-1 visa or A-2 visa. Eligible individuals must meet meet the official requirements of 9 FAM 402.3-5(C). The family of these visa holders are also accepted under A-3 status. The application process requires that eligible applicants undergo an interview at the embassy or consulate of the foreign nation their superior official represents.
Proof must also be presented that an applicant is entitled to a fair wage that will allow them to support themselves financially. Their pay must be comparable to that of the compensation they would receive from being employed in a similar position as a U.S. citizen. The applicant must also demonstrate that they will perform their duties as employees of an A-1 or A-2 visa holder. Eligibility for the A-3 Visa is determined by a consular officer. A-3 Visa applicants must apply for the visa outside of the U.S.
Applying For An A-3 Visa
The application process for the A-3 Visa involves several steps. These steps may vary depending on the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply. An interview is required for the A-3 Visa. These interviews are held at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside of the U.S. and do not involve the applicant’s employer or recruiter.
- Schedule An Interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate of the applicant’s home country
- Complete the Online Visa Application (as completed in the A-1 and A-2 Visa application process)
- Prepare the required documentation
- Valid Passport
- Non-Immigrant Visa Application confirmation page (From Form DS-160)
- Photograph (uploaded on Form DS-160)
- Diplomatic note from the applicant’s home country – these confirm the official status of their employer
Attend Your Visa Interview – a consular will determine whether the applicant meets the requirements under U.S. law to be granted an A-3 Visa. If the visa is approved, the passport will be returned to the applicant with their newly issued visa.
In addition to the above application process that is standard for both the A-1 and A-2 Visa, the A-3 Visa requires an employment contract be presented. It must be written in English and signed by both the employer and the employee. If the employee does not understand English, it must also be written in a language the employee understands. The employment contract must include the following:
- Description of duties
- Hours of Work
- Minimum Wage
- Overtime Work
- Transportation To and From The U.S.
- Other Required Terms of Employment
- Other Recommended Terms of Employment
Information For Employers/Personal Employees/ Domestic Workers
Personal employees must keep their passport in their constant possession. They must always keep a copy of their contract with them at all times as well. Personal employees and domestic workers are under U.S. laws while working in the U.S. The employee/domestic worker should be aware of their rights and protections available to them while in the U.S. Federal immigration, labor and employment laws are available as helpful resources.
Employees are protected from “involuntary servitude”, which is considered a serious criminal offense classified under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). Employees should be advised that they have the right to withdraw from their contract if they are subject to any work conditions that are abusive, harmful and affect the legal process of their employment. A telephone hotline is available for the report of abuse to domestic employees and other trafficking in persons crimes.
Consult With An Immigration Attorney
The application process for an A-3 Visa is not a complicated one, however it is important that you thoroughly understand the details of the process and your rights/protections as a visa holder and an employee. To receive assistance with the application process, or to find our more information about the A-3 Visa, contact Johnson & Masumi to schedule a consultation with our licensed immigration attorneys today.