Sunday, May 26, 2024

Visa Types – NATO Aliens – NATO

Representatives to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are eligible to travel to the United States as nonimmigrants under a separate agreement made between NATO member countries to govern the status of their forces (Status of Forces Agreement). Sixteen countries are members of NATO: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. All of these member countries except Iceland have ratified the agreement relating to the status of NATO national representatives and international staff.

Who Is Eligible For NATO Status?

Seven categories of aliens are eligible for NATO, and eligibility turns on the category definitions:

  • The NATO-1 class includes aliens who are the principal permanent representatives for NATO member states and NATO subsidiary bodies, as well as their staff members. These aliens must reside in the U.S. Included in this category are the Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, Assistant Secretaries General, and Executive Secretary. Members of qualifying aliens’ immediate families are also included in this classification.
  • The NATO-2 class includes aliens who are other representatives for NATO member states and its subsidiaries. In addition to representatives, it includes delegation advisors and technical experts and their immediate families. Also included in this classification are the dependents of force members entering under the Status of Forces Agreement and a similar agreement, as well as members of forces entering under those agreements of they are issued visas.
  • The NATO-3 classification applies to official clerical staff for member state representatives and the staffs’ immediate families.
  • The NATO-4 classification includes any NATO officials that do not fall in the NATO-1 classification, as well as their immediate family.
  • The NATO-5 classification includes experts on NATO missions and their dependents.
  • The NATO-6 classification covers members of civilian components either accompanying force members entering under the Status of Forces Agreement or attached to or employed by an Allied Headquarters under a similar agreement, as well as their dependents.
  • The NATO-7 classification encompasses the servants, attendants, and personal employees of aliens in other NATO classifications, as well as their immediate family.

What Are The Terms Of My Stay?

Aliens holding NATO status receive several benefits not available to aliens in other nonimmigrant classifications. First, NATO-1, -2, -3, and -4 aliens are usually exempt from inspection upon arrival in the U.S. Second, those aliens, as the armed forces of NATO member countries, may stay in the U.S. unless the Secretary of State revokes their NATO status. Similarly, aliens classified as NATO-5 and -6 may stay in the U.S. until either their official duties end or until their status is revoked.

NATO-7 servants, personal attendants, and employees, are eligible to stay in the U.S. longer than their counterparts who serve alien representatives to other international organizations. If a NATO-7 alien works for a NATO-1, -2, -3, or -4 alien, he or she may stay in the U.S. for the term of the principal’s stay. If a NATO-7 alien works for a NATO-5 or -6 alien, he or she is typically authorized to stay only two years, but extensions are available in two-year increments.

The immediate families of NATO-1 through -6 aliens include spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and unmarried children who are physically or mentally disabled. In some circumstances, older unmarried children may also be eligible.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

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