Please check the Frequently Asked Questions below prior to submitting a "Contact Us" request.
For information on careers, student programs & internships, and Foreign Service and Civil Service job opportunities, please visit: careers.state.gov
Discover Diplomacy website has information for middle school aged and older students to learn more about U.S. foreign policy, diplomacy, and the work of the Department of State.
Visit the Discover Diplomacy Site: http://diplomacy.state.gov/discoverdiplomacy/.
The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own citizenship laws based on its own policy. Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth.
A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may not lose the citizenship of the country of birth. U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another citizenship does not risk losing U.S. citizenship. However, a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship. In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship.
Intent can be shown by the person's statements or conduct. The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. citizens may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist citizens abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person's allegiance.
However, dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries. Either country has the right to enforce its laws, particularly if the person later travels there. Most U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country. Use of the foreign passport does not endanger U.S. citizenship. Most countries permit a person to renounce or otherwise lose citizenship.
The State Department offers tours of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms. No other tours of the building are available. For information on making arrangements for a tour of the Diplomatic Reception rooms, please visit the following website: https://diplomaticrooms.state.gov/tours/
United States (U.S.) visa policy permits citizens of certain countries to travel to the U.S. without a visa, when they meet certain requirements under U.S. laws.
For more information, please visit the following websites:
On January 24, 2017, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which invited TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. (TransCanada), to promptly re-submit its application to the Department of State for a Presidential permit for the construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and directed the Secretary of State to receive the application and take all actions necessary and appropriate to facilitate its expeditious review.
For the full text of the Memorandum, please click on the following link:
The "Country Reports on Terrorism 2017" provides the Department of State's annual, statutorily mandated assessment of trends and events in international terrorism that transpired in 2017.
For an electronic copy, please click on the following link:
Information on the Department of State's website is in the public domain and may be copied and distributed without permission, unless a copyright is indicated. If a copyright is indicated, for example on a photo, graphic or other material, permission to copy these materials must be obtained from the original source. For photos without captions or with only partial captions, hold your cursor over the photo to view the "alt tag" for any copyright information.
Please note that the U.S. Government has an international copyright on Country Commercial Guides. Generally, U.S. Government materials are considered in the public domain unless otherwise specified as copyrighted.
For more information on copyrights for U.S. Government information, please visit the following website:
For U.S. citizens wanting to travel abroad, information on obtaining a passport, visa and other travel documents required by your destination country, can be found by visiting the website below:
The Office of the Historian is staffed by professional historians who are experts in the history of U.S. foreign policy and the Department of State and possess unparalleled research experience in classified and unclassified government records. The Office’s historians work closely with other federal government history offices, the academic historical community, and specialists across the globe.
For more information on the Office of the Historian, please click on the following link:
If you’re a first time customer or you’re applying for your child under age 16, you must apply in person using Form DS-11. If you’ve already had a U.S. passport, you may be eligible to renew your passport by mail using Form DS-82. Visit the Passport Services website for more information on how to apply or renew at: https://travel.state.gov/passports
Processing times for passports vary throughout the year. If you are traveling in less than 6 weeks, we recommend you expedite your U.S. passport application. Expedited service costs an additional $60. If you need your passport for urgent international travel in the next 3 weeks, you should make an appointment at a passport agency or center. Please visit the following website to learn about the different ways to get your passport in a hurry:
The State Department’s Office of Commercial and Business Affairs (CBA) plays a major role in coordinating trade and investment matters to support U.S. firms doing business overseas.
For more information, please visit the following website: http://www.state.gov/e/eeb/cba/.
Students of all levels are welcome to apply for the U.S. Department of State’s student programs and internships. We have a variety of programs, from summer clerical positions to management fellowships, all of which allow students from high school to the post-graduate level the ability to participate in projects vital to the success of U.S. foreign policy. Overseas or in Washington D.C., there's a student program that matches your background and will help you to achieve your goals.
Please visit the following website for more information on the program, applications and eligibility requirements: https://careers.state.gov/intern/student-programs/.
For information on the process to become a Foreign Service Officer, including Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) exam dates, online registration, and exam study guides, please visit the following link: https://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/officer/test-process/
The Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs is the central point of coordination for domestic speaking engagements, briefings, and programs in Washington, DC and around the country.
To request a U.S. Department of State speaker via the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, please complete the online speaker request form (https://speakerrequest.state.gov/) Please allow a minimum of 21 days before the event to arrange for a speaker.
For information on how to request copies of passport records from 1925 to the present, please visit the following website:
For copies of passport records issued before 1925 please visit the Passport Applications at the National Archives’ website: http://www.archives.gov/research/genealogy/index.html
Any email that states you have won the Diversity Visa Lottery is fake. The Department of State has never sent emails to notify individuals they have been selected, and The Department of State will not notify Diversity Visa winners by email. Emails indicating that you have won the diversity visa are fraudulent. We encourage you to report fraudulent emails to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx)
Please be aware of a notable increase in fraudulent emails and letters sent to Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) program (Visa Lottery) applicants. The scammers behind these fraudulent emails and letters are posing as the U.S. government in an attempt to extract payment from DV applicants. All applicants should be familiar with information about DV scams provided by the Federal Trade Commission. Applicants are encouraged to review the rules and procedures for the DV program so that you know what to expect, when to expect it, and from whom.
To learn more about ways to recognize Diversity Visa Fraud, please visit the following link:
To register for the Diversity Visa Program and to check the status of your entry, please go to:
For information on how to obtain a Green Card, which is granted to permanent immigrants, please visit the following website:
Only Those Listed Below Are Authorized to Replace or Amend a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA):
For more information, please visit:
U.S. citizens born in the U.S. or U.S. Territories can find information on how to obtain a copy of a birth certificate by visiting the National Center for Health Statistics’ “Where to Write for Vital Records” website: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm
Please visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website to get help on voting in U.S. elections while overseas: http://www.fvap.gov/
Seventy-seven coalition partners have committed themselves to the goals of eliminating the threat posed by ISIS and have already contributed in various capacities to the effort to combat ISIS in Iraq, the region and beyond. The breadth and diversity of partners supporting the coalition demonstrate the global and unified nature of this endeavor.
The Fact Sheet on "U.S. Relations with Cuba" can be found here:
For details on Cuba sanctions regulations, including fact sheets on recent changes and information about applying for an Office of Foreign Assets Control license, please visit the Department of Treasury's website at: https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/cuba.aspx.
The Secretary of State, the ranking member of the Cabinet and fourth in line of presidential succession, is the President's principal advisor on foreign policy and the person chiefly responsible for representing the United States abroad. The primary goal of the Secretary of State and the U.S. Department of State is to shape a freer, more secure, and more prosperous world through formulating and implementing the President's foreign policy, while supporting and protecting American interests abroad.
If you decide to take your pet with you when you go abroad, you should check with the embassies of the destination countries as to specific requirements that must be met before a pet may be brought into the country. Many countries have strict health, quarantine, agriculture, wildlife, and customs requirements and prohibitions. A listing of foreign embassies and consulates in the U.S. is available on the Department of State’s website at
Foreign embassy and consulate contact information can also be found on the Country Specific Information for each country. Please click on the following link for more information:
The Consular Affairs Bureau receives daily calls about international scams involving internet dating, inheritance, work permits, overpayment, and money-laundering. Many scams are initiated through the internet; victims range in age from 18 to 81 and come from all socio-economic backgrounds.
Please visit the following website for more information and how to protect yourself from scams: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/emergencies/scams.html
For information on the State Department’s cultural exchange programs, please visit the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website: http://www.exchanges.state.gov/
Please visit the following website for document requirements to enter Canada:
For the latest entry requirements, please visit U.S. Embassy Mexico’s website at:
1911 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 736-1000
If you are a U.S. citizen who needs help involving U.S. citizenship, travel safety abroad, property and estate matters, or any emergency while traveling abroad, your first option should be to contact your closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
While overseas, you may also call the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-202-501-4444 during business hours. During non-business hours, please call 202-647-4000 and ask for the duty officer.
From within the U.S., call 1-888-407-4747.
Visit the following page to find contact information for embassies and consulates abroad:
For information on what the Department of State can and cannot do to help during a crisis, please visit the following link:
A Green Card gives you official immigration status (Lawful Permanent Residency) in the United States. A “Permanent Resident” is defined as any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. Also known as Permanent Resident Alien, Lawful Permanent Resident, Resident Alien Permit Holder, and Green Card Holder.
For more information, please visit: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis
If you are a citizen of a foreign country, in most cases you will need a visa to enter into the United States.
A visa allows you to travel to the United States as far as the port of entry (airport or land border crossing). A visa doesn’t permit entry to the U.S. A visa simply indicates that your application has been reviewed by a U.S. consular officer at an American Embassy or consulate, and that the officer has deemed you eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose. There are two categories of U.S. visas: immigrant and nonimmigrant.
For more information on visas and visa categories, please visit the following websites:
The mailing address is as follows:
The U.S. Department of State is the oldest agency in the President’s cabinet. The Secretary of State leads the Department of State in carrying out the President's foreign policies.
The Department was initially founded as the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1781 and then renamed in 1789 in the Constitution as the Department of State.
Our Mission Statement: Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.
Learn more about the Department here: https://www.state.gov/aboutstate/
Over 60 coalition partners have committed themselves to the goals of eliminating the threat posed by ISIL and have already contributed in various capacities to the effort to combat ISIL in Iraq, the region and beyond.
For the list of partners and additional information on this topic, please visit our website: http://www.state.gov/s/seci/
A citizen of a foreign country, wishing to enter the U.S., generally must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. The type of visa you must have is defined by immigration law, and relates to the purpose of your travel. These items assist in explaining new visa policies and procedures for visitors to the United States -- a nation with secure borders and open doors.
For information about U.S. visa policy, please click on the following link:
You can check the status of your passport application at the link below:
Your application status should be available online 7-10 business days after you apply.
You may also contact the National Passport Information Center on Mondays-Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST or Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. by calling 1-877-487-2778 or (TDD/TTY) 1-888-874-7793.
Please click on the link below to obtain contact information for foreign embassies in Washington, D.C.:
For all other consular queries, please visit:
If you have a question about a job or internship application, please email email@example.com.
You can contact the U.S. Department of State in any of the following ways:
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
TTY:1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay Service)
Hotline for American Travelers:
Office of Public Engagement:
PA/PL, Rm. 2206
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520
To e-mail the U.S. Department of State, please visit the following website:
Travel warnings are listed on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website:
Travel warnings are issued as needed and are in effect until the State Department issues either a new warning, or a notice that the current warning will expire.
You can find more travel and safety guidelines on Consular Affairs' Country Specific Information pages:
For information on health precautions while traveling abroad, please visit the following links:
U.S. citizens planning to travel overseas can find health information on the country of their destination by contacting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, through their hotline:
fax: 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299)
Or, on their website at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, handles immigration issues. This and other information can be found by visiting their website: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis
The State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs has some related statistics on their website:
Passport Services: Statistics
Other related websites:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Statistics
Census Bureau: Immigration Statistics:
The international schools affiliated with the Department of State are independent, non-government schools sponsored by Americans or in which American citizens have considerable interest. Since they are not controlled by the U.S. government nor do they operate under any official administrative jurisdictional umbrella, they hire teachers and staff directly, establishing their own qualification standards and application procedures. Salary levels and benefit packages vary from school to school.
Many of the American-sponsored schools overseas contract with private organizations in the United States to assist them in the recruitment process.
For more information please visit the following website:
Office of Overseas Schools
U.S. Department of State
Room H328, SA-1
Washington, D. C. 20522-0132
The Office of Authentications processes the authentication or apostille of documents.
In accordance with 22 CFR, Part 131, the Office of Authentications provides signed certificates of authenticity for a variety of documents to individuals, institutions, and government agencies. Examples of documents that might require authentication for use abroad include company bylaws, powers of attorney, trademark, diplomas, treaties, warrants, extraditions, agreements, certificates of good standing, and courier letters.
Learn more about authentications and apostilles by clicking the link below:
Requesting Authentication Services
The U.S. Department of State Office of Authentications accepts requests via the following: mail, walk in counter, and appointments.
To check the status of your request, or for other questions regarding the authentications process, contact the Office of Authentications:
When submitting an inquiry via telephone, you must indicate the following:
Office of Authentications
U.S. Department of State
600 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Office of Authentications
U.S. Department of State
44132 Mercure CIR
P.O. BOX 1206
The Secretary's Global Partnership Initiative (S/GPI) is the entry point for collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, the public and private sectors, and civil society. S/GPI strengthens and deepens U.S. diplomacy and development around the world through partnerships that leverage the creativity, innovation, and core business resources of partners for greater impact. S/GPI is working with partners across sectors, industries, and borders to promote economic growth and opportunity; to invest in the well-being of people from all walks of life; and to make democracy serve every citizen more effectively and justly.
The Discover Diplomacy site has a wealth of information on the work of the Department and student resources.
Please click the link below for more information:
The Office of Commercial and Business Affairs (CBA) is the State Department’s gateway for American businesses overseas. Our mission is to engage U.S. government resources to assist and advocate for U.S. business interests abroad, strengthen intellectual property enforcement, promote a vibrant ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation, and ensure U.S. private sector concerns are integrated into our foreign and economic policy.
For more information, please visit:
For information on countries to which you can or cannot export and other trade restrictions, please contact the U.S. Department of the Treasury - Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) directly at
For further information on trade and trade restrictions please visit the following links:
DS Special Agents in the United States and overseas conduct criminal investigations into passport and visa fraud. These federal felonies are often committed in connection with more other crimes, such as international terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime, alien smuggling, money laundering, pedophilia, and murder. These investigations are critical to secure American borders and protect the national security of the United States.
The Office of Allowances in the Bureau of Administration develops and coordinates policies, regulations, standards, and procedures to administer the government-wide allowances and benefits program abroad under the Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR).
The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
More than 380,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the Program since its inception more than seventy years ago. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually.
Currently, the Fulbright Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.
Use of the Great Seal of the United States is governed by Public Law 91-651, Title 18 of the United States Code. This is a criminal statute with penal provisions, prohibiting certain uses of the Great Seal that would convey or reasonably be calculated to convey a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States or any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof.
Although the Secretary of State is custodian of the Seal, the Department of State has no authority to grant or withhold permission for use of reproductions, facsimiles, or likenesses of the Seal, or any part thereof. The Department of Justice determines, based on the circumstances of each case, whether any particular use violates the Statute. Consequently, the Department of State's policy has been to discourage use of the Great Seal, except when used for governmental or educational purposes, and the Department does not provide artwork for its use other than for official State Department material.
The Office of Presidential Appointments manages the use of the Great Seal.
For more information on the Great Seal, please visit the following websites
(PDF requires Adobe Acrobat reader)
The State Department website provides the following resources on treaties:
Treaty Affairs - http://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/index.htm
The Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) program, announced by Former Secretary Clinton at the 2009 New York University commencement speech, is part of a growing effort by the State Department to harness technology and a commitment to global service among young people to facilitate new forms of diplomatic engagement.
Working from college and university campuses in the United States, American students are partnered with our embassies abroad to conduct digital diplomacy that reflects the realities of our networked world. By combining the talents of young people across America and the right technology, we can forge the solutions that our century demands.
For job listings in the U.S., please visit the following websites:
Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, which includes descriptions of jobs, experience and education requirements, earnings, etc. can be found on this site: http://www.bls.gov/
Department of Labor: America's Job Bank (includes job listings)
U.S. Office of Personnel Management: http://www.opm.gov/
The annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – the Human Rights Reports – cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements. The U.S. Department of State submits reports on all countries receiving assistance and all United Nations member states to the U.S. Congress in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Trade Act of 1974.
For a comprehensive list of human rights reports, please visit:
You can find information on the countries to which the U.S. gives aid, along with the justification of those funds, on the Department's Foreign Assistance Dashboard (
For information on job opportunities within the U.S. government, please visit the following websites:
U.S. Office of Personnel Management: http://www.opm.gov/
USA Jobs: https://www.usajobs.gov/
Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/
U.S. Department of Labor: http://www.ajb.dni.us/
You can apply for or renew the U.S. passport card in the same way you would apply for or renew a U.S. passport book. The wallet-size passport card is less expensive than the passport book and valid for the same amount of time (10 years for adults and 5 years for children under 16). However, the U.S. passport card cannot be used for international air travel. This travel document can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry.
For more information regarding the passport card, please visit the following website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/card.html
The Office of the Historian is responsible, under law, for the preparation and publication of the official documentary history of U.S. foreign policy in the Foreign Relations of the United States series.
The Foreign Policy Classroom website has information for registering high school aged and older students for briefings with senior State Department officials on the work being done on top foreign policy priorities. To register your school, please visit the Foreign Policy Classroom site: https://register.state.gov/ClassroomRequest/.
Any questions on the Foreign Policy Classroom program can be directed to: ForeignPolicyClassroom@state.gov.
Those interested in fine arts tours within the Department of State may consider visiting our Diplomatic Reception Rooms. These tours are recommended for students ages 12+ and adults. For more information on touring the Diplomatic Reception Rooms, please go to:
Questions on tours can be directed to: TourOffice@state.gov
For a list of former secretaries of state, please click the link below:
If you are having problems logging in or registering for STEP, please send your concerns to: CAIBRS@state.gov
For problems with online visa forms, or problems with using an online visa appointment form, please visit the following link to report the problem: