Diplomatic Affairs Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What criteria should be met in order to be accredited as a Foreign diplomatic officer?

A: The accreditation of diplomats employed by diplomatic missions is solely at the discretion of the U.S. Department of State. The Department has established criteria which govern the accreditation of foreign diplomatic personnel and grants exceptions only in extraordinary circumstances for individuals who do not meet these criteria.

In order to be eligible for accreditation as a "diplomatic agent", a person must: be a citizen of the sending state; possess a diplomatic passport or present a diplomatic note formally representing the intention of the sending government to assign diplomatic duties to that person; possess a recognized diplomatic title; hold an A-1 nonimmigrant visa; be over 21 years of age; reside in the Washington, DC metropolitan area; perform diplomatic functions on essentially a full-time basis; and not engage in any professional or commercial activity for personal profit while in United States. For additional information the embassy should refer to the Department's diplomatic note dated May 1, 1985.

Q: What registration form should be completed for a Foreign diplomatic officer?

A: The Form DS-2003 (Notification of Appointment of Foreign Diplomatic and Career Consular Officer) is to be completed for all diplomatic officers of all foreign missions. Submitting copies of I-94 (front and back), title and visa pages from passport for principal and dependents. Applications must be accompanied by two passport size photos of the principal, spouse and each dependent child over the age of 16 if eligible.

Q: Which foreign government officials are issued identification documents?

A: Only persons who are entitled to some degree of immunity will be issued identification cards. Accordingly, persons determined to be "permanently resident in" in the United States will not receive them unless they enjoy immunities under a separate bilateral agreement.

Q: Can foreign government officials who are admitted into the U. S. under A-1, A-2, G-1, G-3, and G-4 visas work in the private sector?

A: Foreign government officials holding "A" or '"G" visas are admitted into the United States solely for the purpose of representing the interests of their respective governments. Accepting other employment or engaging in private commercial ventures is prohibited.

Q: How do you open a career consular office in the United States?

A: The decision to open a consular office in the United States is made at the discretion of the foreign country concerned. The foreign government must, however, obtain the consent of the United States Government to open such an office in order to assure conformity with international obligations of the United States and in conjunction with the laws and regulations of the United States.

The Embassy must make a written request in the form of a diplomatic note. The note must include the following information: location (city/state) of the consular office and address, if known; classification of office (Consulate General, Consulate, etc.); jurisdiction; and primary functions which the Consulate will perform.

Q: How do you register Honorary consular officers?

A: The Embassy should refer to the Department's diplomatic note dated August 6, 2003. The Embassy is requested to complete a Notification of Appointment of Honorary Consular Officer Form (DS-2005) and provide a curriculum vitae or biography for the applicant as well as all information requested in Enclosure "A" - attachment of 17 questions.

In order to be eligible for recognition as an honorary consular officer, an individual must: possess a consular title recognized by the United States Government (Honorary Consul General, Honorary Deputy Consul General, Honorary Consul, Honorary Deputy Consul, etc.); be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (green card holder) of the United States; not hold an office of profit or trust with the United States Government or a position with a State, County or other municipality of the United States which is considered by such entity to be incompatible with the duties of a foreign consular officer; obtain permission from the Secretary of the Department concerned, if he or she holds a commission as a Reserve Officer in any branch of the United States Armed Forces; reside in the area where recognition is requested; and be over 21 years of age.