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A2 visas are diplomatic visas. They come under non-immigrant visa category. A2 visas are granted to those individuals who represent a foreign government and are traveling to US in official capacity for their government. Privileges allowed under this status to the principal holder and dependents could differ form country to country and types of government missions. Following questions provide information on some of the entitlements permitted under A2 visa. A2 Visas are diplomatic Visas that often fall under the Non-Immigration Visa category. A2 visas are generally granted to individuals that represent a Foreign Government that is traveling out of their home country, generally to the US on official government business. However, privileges that are allowed under the A2 Visa status for dependents could vary by country as well as the type of government mission. Many times when applying for an A2 visa, there could be questions raised on the status as well as who would qualify for the visa. Read below where questions have been asked to Experts regarding A2 visa status and regulations.
An individual who has entered the US on an A2 visa is entitled to work only for the government that engaged his or her services to work and enter in the US. If a person wishes to undertake another job he or she will need to seek employment authorization and apply for appropriate work permit or a different type of Visa.
As A2 Visa holders are only allowed to undertake official activities for the government that employed them, they are exempt from paying tax in the US. However, IRS must be notified of any secondary source of income in the US.
Generally, the spouse and children of the A2 Visa holder can qualify as dependents and they can travel and live in US under A2 Visa. A girlfriend/boyfriend or fiancé are not considered dependents.
Depending on the specific bilateral agreements between countries and the type of government mission, some spouses of A2 Visa holders can obtain employment authorization to work in US. This is likely to be dependent on whether or not the country of origin of the A2 Visa holder reciprocates and extends the same work entitlement to US spouses. Dependents of A2 Visa holders who are employees of Diplomatic Missions, International Organizations, or NATO may be eligible for employment authorization if reciprocal agreements exist between the countries. The Department of State Office of Protocol may provide information on bilateral agreements.
Contingent to the type of official activities required to perform within the government mission, some individuals with A2 Visa status may hold diplomatic immunity. However this varies per situation.
There are some provisions for individuals who entered US under A2 Visa status to obtain a green card. There are set criteria for eligibility and these will have to be met in order to obtain a green card status. For more information one could visit http://www.uscis.gov/
A2 Visa status allows for authorization to attend school. However, if the A2 Visa holder is a minor, once the minor reaches the adult age of 21 years old, they must apply for a change of status and will no longer be eligible on a A2 Visa status. There are a few other stipulations on who can study on a A2 Visa. The following link sheds more light on who can study: http://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/Nonimmigrant%20Class%20Who%20Can%20Study.pdf
A2 Visa with a TDY status implies that the person is on a temporary assignment. The principal holder and dependents are allowed entry for up to 90 days and may not be permitted to extend the stay beyond the stipulated period. A dependent of the A2 Visa holder may not stay independent of principal A2 Visa holder. They could travel separately to join the principal holder or travel ahead of them with the understanding their stay is combined and of the same period. A2 visas come with certain rights and entitlements. The laws governing the A2 Visa could vary depending on individual cases and situations. Overlooking the immigration law could result in violations of the visa status and hence it is prudent to have any doubts clarified by Legal Experts.
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