The type of visa required by a diplomat, government official, or international organization employee depends upon their purpose of travel to the United States.
Diplomats and other foreign government officials traveling to the United States to engage solely in official duties or activities on behalf of their national government must obtain an A-1 or A-2 visa prior to entering the United States.
Diplomats, government officials, and employees who will work for international organizations in the United States need G visas. G visas are also issued to Namibian or other national government officials traveling solely to attend events at a designated international organization (e.g., to participate in the United Nations General Assembly [UNGA] or to work at Namibia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations).
Local government officials representing their state, province, borough, or other local political entity require visitor (B) visas. Government officials coming to perform non-official or non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, must apply for the appropriate visa category for the specific travel purpose, such as a B-2 visa for tourism.
If a purpose of travel is mixed between “A” activities and “G” activities, an “A” visa should be used to enter the United States. For example, if you are traveling to the United States to attend an event at the United Nations AND to perform temporary work at the Namibian Embassy then you should enter the United States on an “A” visa.
All diplomatic and official U.S. visa applications must be submitted at least five business days before the traveler’s intended date of departure. The Embassy understands that certain, last-minute travel is unavoidable and will always make every attempt to process all diplomatic and official visa applications as expeditiously as possible. However, we are unable to guarantee visa processing can be completed if applications are submitted fewer than five business days before departure.
Any questions about diplomatic and official visas should be directed to ConsularWindhoek@state.gov.
Step 1. Check the Validity of Your Passport
All Namibian visitors traveling to the United States, including individuals on official or diplomatic travel, are required to be in possession of passports that are valid for six months beyond the last day of their intended stay in the United States. For example, if you trip is from January 1-14, 2024, your passport must be valid until July 14, 2024.
Your passport must have at least three blank visa pages.
Citizens of the countries listed here are exempt from the six-month rule and need only have a passport valid for their intended period of stay.
Step 2. Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
Complete your DS-160 Application for a Nonimmigrant Visa here.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the DS-160 application, including troubleshooting tips, can be found here.
As soon as you begin your application, please write down your unique application ID number (beginning with the letters “AA”). You must have your application ID to return to your application. The Embassy does not have and cannot provide you with your application ID if you lose or misplace it.
You must answer every question on the application to the best of your ability. If you do not remember exact dates of your previous travel to the United States, for example, you should estimate your approximate travel dates to the best of your knowledge. The Embassy is unable to provide you with the dates of your previous trips to the United States or the foil numbers for your previous U.S. visas.
Do NOT use a DS-1648 to apply for a diplomatic or official visa unless you are applying to renew your existing visa within the United States. Submitting the wrong application form will delay the processing of your application.
Step 3. Collect Supporting Documentation
The Embassy does not charge any fees to process diplomatic or official visa applications.
Contact your organization’s Human Resources Department and ask them to produce a diplomatic note (note verbal) requesting a diplomatic visa on your behalf.
If you work for the Government of the Republic of Namibia and are traveling to the United States on behalf of the Namibian government, you should contact the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation (MIRCO)’s Protocol Department.
If you work for the United Nations, we must receive a request for a diplomatic visa on your behalf from the United Nations Transportation office. This is generally sent via email directly to the Embassy.
The diplomatic note must include the following information concerning the principal applicant or it cannot be accepted.
1. Name and date of birth;
2. Position and title;
3. Place of assignment or visit;
4. Purpose of travel;
5. Brief description of duties;
6. Travel date;
7. Anticipated length of stay or tour of duty in the United States; and
8. The names, relationships, and dates of birth of any dependents and other members of household who will be accompanying or joining the principal.
You will also need to submit two 5cm x 5cm color passport-sized photos taken no more than six months before the date of your appointment. Full photo requirements can be found here. Passport photos must be free of any eyewear or impermissible head coverings.
Step 4: Drop Off Your Application Documents
Your Human Resources Department should email ConsularWindhoek@state.gov to schedule a time to drop off your DS-160 application confirmation page, unexpired passport, passport photos, and diplomatic note (see Step 3). Your application package must be dropped off during regular business hours.
We are unable to accept after-hours deliveries of visa applications under any circumstances. If you attempt to drop-off documents after business hours, you will be instructed to return to the Embassy during regular business hours on the next business day.
The in-person interview and fingerprinting requirement is generally waived for qualified A and G visa applicants. However, a consular officer can still require an interview at their discretion.
Embassy of the United States of America
38 Metje Street Klein Windhoek Windhoek, Namibia
Monday: 07:15 – 17:00 Tuesday: 07:15 – 17:00 Wednesday: 07:15 – 17:00 Thursday: 07:15 – 17:00 Friday: 07:15 – 12:15
*The Embassy is closed on all U.S. and Namibian public holidays.
Step 5: Collect Your Passport and Visa
We will contact you or the organization requesting your visa when the visa is ready for collection. Processing time is 3-5 business days.
6: Understanding My Visa
You must always enter the United States using a visa that is appropriate for your intended purpose of travel.
Any annotation printed onto an A or G visa is not controlling and does not necessarily limit the visa’s use. For example, if an A visa includes an annotation that the individual is traveling for recurrent flight training in December 2023 the visa can still be used to travel to the United States for purposes other than recurrent flight training that are consistent with A status throughout the visa’s validity period. This could include official participation in meetings or conferences as a representative of the Government of the Republic of Namibia. Annotations are printed onto U.S. visas primarily to help facilitate an official’s admission into the United States at a U.S. port of entry, not to restrict their use.
In general, A visas are intended for use by Namibian officials who seek to enter the United States pursuant to orders or instructions from the Namibian government solely to perform duties or services for the Namibian government (including temporary duty at the Embassy of the Republic of Namibia in Washington, DC, participation in meetings or conferences, trainings, or other permissible activities).
G visas are for foreign government officials traveling for any activities related to a designated international organization such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, or World Bank. This includes participation in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
You can hold both an A visa and a G visa simultaneously. However, when traveling to the United States you should always ensure that you hold the appropriate visa classification for your intended purpose of travel. A G visa should never be used to enter the United States for activities that would normally require an A visa (e.g., to engage solely in official duties or activities on behalf of their national government).
All trips to the United States solely for leisure should be undertaken on B1/B2 (tourist) visas.
7. My diplomatic or official visa is still valid but in my expired passport. Do I need to apply for a new visa?
No. If your U.S. visa is still valid you can travel to the United States with your two passports (the new valid passport and the expired passport with your valid visa) so long as your U.S. visa is not damaged and is the appropriate type of visa required for your principal purpose of travel.
Both passports must be the same type (e.g. regular/official/diplomatic) and must be issued by the same country (Example: both Namibian regular passports, both official passports, or both diplomatic passports). You are NOT allowed to mix passport types. If your valid visa is in your expired diplomatic passport and you now hold an official passport then you are required to obtain a new visa in the official passport.
When you arrive at the U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport or land border crossing) the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer will check your visa in the old passport. If they decide to admit you into the United States, they will stamp your new passport with an admission stamp with the annotation “VIOPP” (visa in other passport). Do not try to remove the visa from your expired passport and stick it into the new valid passport. If you do so, your visa will no longer be valid.
8. Employees of Namibian Parastatal Entities
The fact that there may be government interest or control in an organization is not in itself controlling on the matter of A-2 entitlement. There must be some further showing that the duties or services to be performed by the applicant are themselves of an inherently governmental character or nature.
Where an organization is essentially engaged in commercial and/or competitive activities (e.g., banking, mining, or transportation), an official traveling on behalf of such organization would generally not be qualified for an A-2 visa.
Depending upon the purpose of travel to the United States, B-1, L-1, or E classification may be appropriate. Consular officers must refuse A-2 visa applications for officials of organizations which are not directly engaged in functions of a governmental nature as measured by U.S. standards.
U.S. Embassy Windhoek
38 Metje Street