Law Offices of 

G-4 Visas & Diplomats

G-4 Visas & Diplomats

Special Immigrant Petitions for G-4 Child Dependents

U.S. Legal Permanent Residence is available via a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Petition to unmarried children of G-4 principals with at least 7 years of continuous presence in US while the parent is in G-4 status with a U.S. duty station. The continuous presence only accrues between the ages of 5 and 21 (through 22nd birthday). There is also a requirement of 3½ years of minimum physical presence within the 7 years preceding application, and the application must be made before the dependent reaches age 25.

Special Immigrant Petitions for G-4 Principals and Spouse Dependents

U.S. Legal Permanent Residence is also available to retiring G-4 Principals with a minimum of 15 years in aggregate G-4 status and 3½ years of minimum physical presence within the 7 years preceding application via a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Petition. Spouses also may apply concurrently, and do not need to have been G-4 visa holders themselves.

These SIV Applications must be filed within 6 months of the formal retirement date, and unfortunately does not include non-retirement events such as resignation, termination or divorce resulting in loss of G-4 status. Spouses may not apply independently of, or prior to, the G-4 principal.

SIV Applications are, however, available to surviving spouses of G-4 visa holders when the G-4 principal passes away so long as the deceased G-4 principal met the 3½ years of minimum physical presence within 7 years and 15 years of aggregate G-4 status preceding their death. The SIV Application must be filed within 6 months of death of the principal G-4.

Logistics of G-4 SIV Processing

All G-4 SIV Petitions may be filed either within the United States concurrently with an adjustment of status application or from outside the United States via consular processing. When applying for adjustment of status from within the United States, the applicant must await “advance parole” to be issued by USCIS to permit travel outside the United States without abandoning the adjustment application. When applying from outside the United States for SIV status and admission to the United States on an immigrant visa via consular processing, the applicant may be forced to remain outside the United States until consular processing is complete.

N Visas

This lesser-known but potentially useful category of visa is available to the parent of a child who has obtained G-4 special immigrant status while child is under 21. It is also available to the child of a parent who has been granted special immigrant or N Visa status (while the child is under 21). The N Visa allows for employment authorization but the Employment Authorization Document must be applied for. This is often the best option for G-4 Dependent spouses and their children when their G-4 visa is lost due to divorce or if the G-4 principal departs the U.S. or moves to an overseas duty station.

Section 13

Also a lesser known option for foreign nationals who entered the U.S. in A-1, A-2, G-1 or G-2 (diplomatic) status is Section 13 which was enacted by Congress in 1957. This law applies to diplomats who have failed to maintain their diplomatic status (voluntarily or involuntarily) and are now out of status in the United States. The duties performed must have been diplomatic or semi-diplomatic in nature and the applicant must be able to demonstrate compelling reasons why they cannot return to the country that accredited them as a diplomat and that adjustment of status to Legal Permanent Residence would be in the national interest of the United States. The applicant must also demonstrate good moral character and admissibility.
Attorney Mark A. Urbanski is highly knowledgeable about all issues affecting G-4 visa holders, diplomats and their dependents. To discuss any of the above categories in more detail please schedule a consultation or contact Attorney Urbanski.