This checklist summarizes the steps to request a change of visa status from a visa other than G-4 to a G-4 visa for staff or dependents.
Review eligibility criteria below carefully before initiating the change of visa to G-4 process inside the United States.
The State Department has confirmed that requests for change of status to G-4 inside US will be reviewed on a case-by-case status and is not guaranteed. Upon review of all documents, staff or dependents may be asked to apply for their G-4 visa abroad.
Eligible staff may start work at WBG HQ while the request is being processed with the US State Department, but this process can only be initiated after your start date at the WBG. This change of visa status process will take 16 – 24 weeks to complete. Departing the US during the process will stop the process and applicants will be required to apply for a G-4 visa at a US Embassy abroad.
Dependent spouses currently working in the U.S. on an H1-B visa or other non- immigrant visas with work authorization must stop working immediately on appointment of the WBG staff member until a valid G-4 dependent employment authorization card is approved by USCIS and must not work in the U.S. for the duration of time it takes to change status to a dependent G-4 visa and subsequently obtain a dependent G-4 work authorization. The employment authorization process can take several months in addition to the change of visa process. Prior to accepting an offer from the World Bank Group, incoming staff members should plan carefully with the spouse’s U.S. employer to accommodate the spouse's potential mandatory unpaid leave of absence.
Staff or dependents who have entered the US using a B1/B2 tourist visa, the Visa Waiver Program, or ESTA visa waiver are not able to change their visa status inside the US. Applicants who entered as a visitor or tourist must exit the US and apply for a G-4 visa abroad. Please review the online steps for requesting a G-4 visa abroad for that process.
World Bank Assigned staff (Open, Term, ETC, STT/STC) assigned to HQ or dependents of HQ assigned staff who hold a visa other than G-4 may be eligible to request a change of visa status to G-4 inside the U.S. Please note that staff member and all dependents (except for full time college students) must reside in the Washington DC metropolitan area in the same residence as the WBG staff member.
An individual may be eligible to apply for a change to principal G-4 visa if the:
- Principal staff member is employed by the World Bank Group in the U.S. and holds a valid principal visa with an employment authorization card (EAC) which remains valid for a minimum of 6 months from employment start date.
- Principal staff member's HQ assignment is expected to last more than six months from the date the application is submitted to the State Department. Short-term consultants/temporaries (STC/STTs) registered with the State Department as Full Time must have a minimum of 100 unbilled days (800 hours) left in the current employment contract.
- Remains in proper visa status from visa used to enter the US most recently.
Dependent spouse or child may be eligible to apply for a change to dependent G-4 visa if:
- Entered the US on a valid non-immigrant visa other than B1/B2 tourist visa (entry on B1/B2 visa, visa waiver program, or ESTA visa waiver are not eligible.
- Applicant lives in the same household as the staff member and will be recorded with State Department as a member of household.
- Applicant is physically in the U.S. at the time of application, as evidenced by a current I-94 available at the I-94 Record of U.S. Entry website
Additional Eligibility Criteria for Handicapped or Medically Dependent Children
- Dependent children over the age of 26 must be recorded with WBG HR as mentally or physically handicapped prior to starting the change of visa process.
For Spouses on Dependent A-1/A-2 Visas & Employment Authorization Card
- U.S. immigration regulations allow dependent A type visa holders (A-1/A-2) to be employed by the World Bank Group at HQ with a valid employment authorization card issued by USCIS as a dependent A visa holder. A-1/A-2 dependent visa holders are not required to change to G-4 principal to be employed by the WBG.
- Prior to accepting an offer from the World Bank Group, incoming staff members on a dependent A-1/A-2 visa should plan carefully with the spouse’s U.S. embassy employer to ensure EAC renewals are completed prior to the expiration date printed on the EAC card.
- Request a Personal Identification (PID) number through MyHR Self-Service to initiate the process. If you do not have access to this system, email HR Operations. For a detailed checklist of process steps and list of necessary documents for staff or dependents, refer to Register for a Personal Identification (PID) Number.
- Gather required documents for delivery to HR Operations in G Building:
- USCIS Form I-566: 1 original copy, signed in blue ink, and one copy of the Bank Group version of USCIS Form I-566. Complete electronically and print for signature prior to submitting hard copy version. Do not change any of the pre-filled information. Note: Do not use the form from the USCIS website.
- If you hold an open appointment, use your mandatory retirement date as the expected end date of duty
- If you hold a term appointment, use your end of current term or HQ assignment date as the expected end of duty date
- USCIS Form I-539: 1 original, signed in blue ink, and one copy of USCIS Form I-539. Complete electronically and print for signature prior to submitting hard copy version. Note: The barcode at the bottom of the page must be visible when printed.
- Include USCIS Form I-539A for dependent spouse or children requesting change of status.
- Passport, Current Visa, I-94 Record of U.S. Entry: 1 copy each of the following for each G-4 visa applicant
- Original passport.
- High quality colored copy of the passport bio pages with full name, picture, nationality, date of birth, and passport number. Use the 'photo' setting available on most photocopy machines. Passports must be valid for 6 months from date of application.
- Colored copy of the visa most recently used to enter the United States.
- Copy of the latest I-94 available at the I-94 Record of U.S. Entry website.
- Letter from Applicant: Submit ‘To Whom It May Concern’ letter explaining why change of visa status should be completed inside the United States at this time.
- WBG Appointment Letter: 1 copy of WBG issued Letter of Appointment for staff
- Visa & Immigration Documents: Submit any visa support documents from visa most recently used to enter the US
- F-1 Student Visa Holders: Form I-20 and OPT/CPT Employment Authorization
- Visa Application Submission Confirmation: Complete online G-4 visa application (DS-1648) and print 1 copy of G-4 visa confirmation of submission page For more details on how to fill out the form DS-1648, click here
- Select Diplomatic Liaison of the Visa Office in Washington, D.C. as the renewal location.
- Upload a digital photograph of each applicant into the online form.
- Refer to the State Department's photo requirements. Photos must be new and not used for any previous visa, passport, or dependent work authorization application.
- As of November 1, 2016, eyeglasses are not permitted in visa photos
- Staff can obtain digital photos from the GCS Photography Unit and from commercial photographers
- Deliver completed documents to HR Operations in G Building 2nd Floor using HR Doculockers.
HR Operations Actions:
- HR confirms the following to the staff member by email:
- Receipt of completed application package for change of visa process.
- Delivery of the staff member/dependents’ completed application package to State Department.
- Receipt of final G-4 visa issued by State Department
- Placement into HR Doculockers for staff member collection
Note: The State Department takes approximately 16-24 weeks to process the request and return the passport with G-4 visa(s). The Bank Group has no control over the duration of the process. There is no provision for 'urgent' applications and no tracking facility.
- Once notified of process completion staff will be able to
Note: Retain copies of G-4 visas in case the original is lost or misplaced.