How does a Diplomat get a Section 13 Green Card? —

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The Section 13 of INA or Immigration and Nationality Act was created on September 11th, 1957 to enable persons who had entered the US with a diplomatic status to gain permanent residence in the country.  This blog highlights the requirements and method for applying under section 13.

To become eligible for permanent residency under the Section 13, the following criteria needs to be met:

  • The applicant must have entered the US as an A1/A2, G1/G2 non-immigrant
  • The applicant must have failed to maintain his/her A1/A2, G1/G2 non-immigration status
  • The applicant’s duties must have been semi-diplomatic or diplomatic
  • There should be a strong reason why the applicant or his or her family is not able to return to the country that attributed the individual as a diplomat
  • The applicant must be a person of good character
  • The applicant is admissible in the US for permanent residency
  • Granting a green card to the applicant would be in the interest of the US

Some of the requirements mentioned above are quite complicated. It is important for the applicant to show that his or her duties were indeed of a diplomatic or semi-diplomatic nature. According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Aliens whose duties were of a custodial, clerical, or menial nature, and members of their immediate families, are not eligible for benefits under section 13.”

Next, a compelling reason must be presented for why the person cannot return to their original country which accredited them as the diplomat. For example, ‘fear of persecution’ would be a compelling reason. However, the claims are not at all limited to such a reason. The inability of the applicant to support him or herself in the home country is not a good reason.

The third crucial point involves showing how it will be in the national interest of the United States if it were to grant the diplomat permanent residence.

How to Apply for Green Card for Diplomats Under Section 13

The applicant has to file the I-485 form with all the supporting documents when applying for a section 13 green card. The supporting evidence that needs to be submitted along with the I-485 form includes the following:

  • Two passport-size photographs
  • Biographic Information, form G-325A (if between 14 and 79 years of age)
  • Copy of the applicant’s birth certificate
  • Evidence indicating that the applicant entered the US as an A1/A2, G1/G2 non immigrant
  • Interagency Record of Request, Form I-566
  • Waiver of Rights, Privileges, Exemptions, and Immunities, Form I-508
  • Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
  • Any other evidence or affidavits the applicant wishes to submit

The diplomat can also apply for a work permit through an I-765 while his or her application for permanent residency is under consideration. Additionally, the applicant can also seek advanced parole which is basically advance permission for the applicant to travel to and be admitted in the US after his or her return.



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