U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 95/05/03 FACT SHEET: DEPARTMENT OF STATE INFORMATION RESOURCES & SERVICES PUBLISHED BY THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE INFORMATION RESOURCES AND SERVICES The Department of State is the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency. It advances U.S. objectives and interests through formulating, representing, and implementing the President's foreign policies. Information received from 300 U.S. diplomatic and consular posts around the world--including in-depth analyses of the politics, economic trends, and social forces at work in foreign countries--is provided to more than 60 federal agencies dealing with national security, intelligence, economic and commercial matters, and science and technology. The Department also provides an array of critical information resources and services of benefit to the American public at home and abroad, from assisting citizens in crisis overseas and maintaining national security alliances and defusing crises to promoting free trade and assisting American business, posting critical information on the Internet and in publications, and pro-viding diverse opportunities for liaison with the American people. Information Resources: Print and CD-ROM The Bureau of Public Affairs is the Department's gateway to official foreign policy information in print, on the Internet and other electronic services (see box), and on CD-ROM. The following major series are included: U.S. Department of State Dispatch. Dispatch is the official record of U.S. foreign policy. Published weekly by the Office of Public Communication, Bureau of Public Affairs, Dispatch includes major speeches, statements, and congressional testimony by the President, Secretary of State, and senior U.S. officials, plus fact sheets, country profiles, treaty actions, and more. One-year subscriptions (includes all supplemental issues and six-month indexes): $91 domestic third-class postage; $144 domestic first-class; and $113.75 foreign. To order, contact: Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954; telephone: (202) 512-1800; fax: (202) 512-2250. Dispatch also is available from the National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161-2171. One-year subscriptions: $175 first-class postage; $430 overnight delivery; $350 for addresses outside the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Microfiche is offered as a six-month collection with index. To order, call (703) 487- 4630. Background Notes. Background Notes, also published by the Office of Public Communication, are concise reports describing about 200 countries and selected international organizations. One-year subscriptions (about 40 Notes): $34 ($42.50 foreign). Individual copies: $1 ($1.25 foreign). Complete set in stock: $69 ($86 foreign). To order, contact the Superintendent of Documents at the address above. U.S. Foreign Affairs on CD-ROM (USFAC). USFAC is a compact, fully searchable foreign policy library offering more than 4,000 key documents from 1990 to the present. USFAC archives information provided on DOSFAN on the Internet, adding about 300 new documents each quarter. Published by the Office of Public Communication, Bureau of Public Affairs, USFAC enables fast search and retrieval; includes portable document files which provide "as-printed" access to Dispatch and Background Notes; and is compatible with MSDOS 3.0 (or better) and Macintosh System 7. One- year subscriptions (four discs): $80 ($100 foreign). To order, call the Superintendent of Documents at (202) 512-1800 or fax: (202) 512-2250. Foreign Relations Series. Foreign Relations of the United States is the official documentary record of U.S. foreign affairs. First published in 1861, the series preserves American foreign policy history in more than 350 individual volumes. The Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, publishes Foreign Relations. Each volume documents the major foreign policy decisions and diplomatic activity of the U.S. Government and contains declassified records from the White House, the Department of State, and other foreign affairs agencies. Volumes chronicling the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations are now being researched and released. Foreign Relations is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh PA 15250- 7954. To order, call: (202) 512-1800. For more information on Foreign Relations--including microfiche supplements and future volumes in electronic form--contact the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520; telephone: (202) 663-1123; fax: (202) 663-1289. Consular Information Program and Travel Services The Bureau of Consular Affairs assists American citizens traveling or living abroad and issues visas to foreign nationals who wish to visit or reside in the United States. Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) The office of Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) is responsible for the welfare and whereabouts of U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad. Hours of operation are from 8:15 a.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays-Fridays; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturdays. For after-hour emergencies, Sundays and holidays, call (202) 647-4000 and request the OCS duty officer. The 24- hour Travelers' Hotline, for Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings (see box, p. 3), is (202) 647-5225. The Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB) and automated fax systems provide rapid access to current travel information (see box, p. 1). To improve services to Americans, OCS recently reorganized into three offices: American Citizen Services and Crisis Management (ACS). ACS is the point of contact for overseas emergency services, including welfare, safety and whereabouts inquiries, arrests, death cases, financial or medical emergencies, and international crisis/disaster assistance. ACS mirrors services provided at U.S. embassies and consulates overseas; officers in six geographic divisions assist in all matters involving protective services for U.S. citizens abroad. In addition, ACS provides information on marriages of U.S. citizens abroad, absentee voting, dual nationality, and other consular information. Emergency assistance and recorded information on all services is available at (202) 647-5225. Children's Issues. Created to assist families in crisis and provide information to Americans on international adoption in more than 60 countries, the Office of Children's Issues also serves as the U.S. central authority on The Hague Convention on International Parental Child Abduction. The treaty provides for the return of children to their habitual place of residence if wrongfully removed. In 1994, the office was involved with more than 1,200 active international child custody cases. Recorded information on certain countries is available; call (202) 736-7000. For more information, contact the Children's Issues Office, Room 4811, Overseas Citizens Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-4818; telephone: (202) 647-2688. Policy Review and Interagency Liaison (PRI). PRI provides guidance on the administration and enforcement of U.S. citizenship laws and the documentation of Americans traveling and residing abroad. The office also has responsibility for the federal benefits program, under which more than a half-million American citizens receive monthly federal benefits payments outside the United States. For more information, call (202) 647-5225. Passport and Visa Services About 4 million U.S. passports are issued each year to American citizens at 13 passport agencies and one processing center in the United States, and more than 255 diplomatic and consular posts around the world. U.S. passports are issued at passport agencies located in Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Honolulu, HI; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Stamford, CT; Washington, DC; and by mail at the National Passport Center in Portsmouth, NH. Passport applications are accepted at more than 3,500 authorized post offices and clerks of courts across the country. Check your local telephone book listing under: "United States Government, Department of State, Passport Agency." For recorded information regarding passports, call (202) 647-0518. Official reports documenting the birth and death of American citizens overseas also are available. Completion of an official form and a $10 fee are required; call (202) 647-0518 for requirements. Visa Services. For information on issuing immigrant and non-immigrant U.S. visas to foreign nationals, contact: Public Inquiries, VO/P, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-0013. Telephone: (202) 663-1225. Visa Lottery Information. Specific details regarding the annual U.S. visa lottery are available from the Lottery Hotline at (202) 663-1600. To inquire about monthly priority dates, call (202) 663-1541. Visa Petitions. To check on the status of approved immigrant visa petitions as well as visa lottery applications, contact the National Visa Center, 32 Rochester Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801, or call 603-334- 0700. Liaison With the Public The Office of Public Liaison, Bureau of Public Affairs, promotes foreign policy dialogue between Department officials and the American people through a variety of programing and liaison activities. It serves as the point of coordination for speaking engagements, briefings, and conference programs in the Department and around the country, and also handles public mail and telephone inquiries. If you are interested in any of the following services, contact the numbers listed or write the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of Public Liaison, 2201 C Street, Washington, DC 20520- 6810. Washington Programs. Large groups of opinion leaders from business, education, ethnic, environmental, and other non-governmental entities can request assistance in organizing a foreign policy conference at the Department or in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Seminars and special briefings also can be arranged for smaller groups to meet with Department officials for informal discussions on topics of particular interest. For more information, call (202) 647-5171. Regional Programs. The State Department provides speakers to organizations throughout the United States. Regional foreign policy town meetings are co-sponsored by the Department and local organizations. Senior officials participate in these meetings, which are designed to encourage the free exchange of information and opinion. Media interviews, informal discussions with business and community leaders, and visits to academic institutions are among other events which may be scheduled while the speaker is in the area. For more information, call (202) 647-8411. Comments and Information. The Department welcomes the comments of concerned citizens. To express opinions on foreign affairs issues, write to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of Public Information, 2201 C Street, Washington, DC 20520-6810. If you prefer to reach us by telephone, call: (202) 647-6575 between 9: 00 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. (EST). The Public Information office also disseminates foreign policy material through the fax-on-demand system (see below) and through direct mailing. If you desire such information, please call or write to the office. Fax-on-Demand. This 24-hour automated fax system provides speeches, testimonies, biographies, press briefing transcripts, and other pertinent information. The system can be accessed by calling (202) 736- 7720 from the handset of your fax machine. Liaison With State and Local Government The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA), Bureau of Public Affairs, provides key international services to state, county, and city officials, such as briefings and information on foreign affairs issues, international markets, student exchange programs, and sister-city relationships. IGA also prepares legislators and city and county representatives for official trips abroad and for welcoming visiting foreign dignitaries or potential investors to the United States. The office coordinates meetings with Department experts, arranges special foreign affairs and direct-line telephone briefings, and contacts U.S. embassies to facilitate travel. For further information, contact the Coordinator for Intergovernmental Affairs, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-6810; telephone: (202) 647-7416; fax: (202) 647-5939. Liaison With the Media Several hundred journalists representing media organizations worldwide regularly cover the U.S. Department of State. Over 50 news-gathering agencies have facilities in the State Department building and attend the daily press briefing. A key component of the Bureau of Public Affairs, the Press Office coordinates the Department's daily press briefing and provides diverse information on U.S. foreign policy for news organizations and correspondents. For more information, journalists should contact the Press Office: telephone: (202) 647-2492; fax: (202) 647-0244. The Department's Fax-on-Demand service is an excellent resource for journalists; to access, call: (202) 736-7720 from the handset of the fax machine. Additional Resources The Department of State publishes many useful publications that direct American business and the public to key services and/or promote public dialogue on major foreign policy issues. Most publications are available in federal depository libraries throughout the country and are for sale from the Superintendent of Documents (see address on p. 1). Many publications also are available on the Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN) on the Internet and in U.S. Foreign Policy on CD-ROM (USFAC). The following general publications are included. -- Key Officers of Foreign Service Posts--Guide for Business Representatives, published twice a year, lists key officers at foreign service posts who provide assistance to American business representatives around the world. All embassies, missions, consulates general, and consulates are listed with names, telephone, and fax numbers for key officers at the Departments of State and Commerce, and other U.S. agencies overseas. -- Diplomatic List--published quarterly, lists names and addresses of official foreign diplomatic representatives in Washington, DC. -- Foreign Consular Offices in the United States--published twice a year, includes names and addresses of foreign consulates in the U.S. -- Treaties and Other International Acts--issued irregularly, contains the complete official texts of agreements entered into by the United States with other nations. -- U.S. Department of State Telephone Directory contains key contact points and other information for the Department of State as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Trade and Development Agency, and the U.S. Information Agency. It also contains the full text of Key Officers of Foreign Service Posts-- Guide for Business Representatives. Other Services Locator Service. To obtain the office telephone numbers of Department of State personnel, call: (202) 647-4000. Tour Office. Reservations for tours of the Department of State's 8th floor diplomatic reception rooms can be arranged. To arrange a tour, call: (202) 647-3241, or fax: (202) 736-4232. Employment. The Department of State employs both Civil and Foreign Service officers. For information about careers in the Foreign Service, contact the Office of Recruitment, Examination, and Employment, U.S. Department of State, P.O. Box 9317, Rosslyn Station, Arlington, VA 22219-0317. Recorded information is available; call: (703) 875-7490, or fax: (703) 812-2265. For information on Civil Service careers at the Department of State, contact the Office of Civil Service Personnel Management, P.O. Box 18657, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20036-8657. Recorded information about Civil Service employment is available; call: (202) 647-7284. Freedom of Information. Requests for Department of State records must be made in writing. There is a fee for copying documents. For more information, contact the Director, Office of Freedom of Information, Privacy, and Classification Review, Bureau of Administration, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC, 20520-1512; telephone: (202) 647- 6070; fax: (202) 736-7304. Document Authentication. Certification, with the seal of the Department of State, is provided for certain documents used in foreign countries (e.g., certificates of incorporation and powers of attorney for Americans doing business abroad; educational papers such as degrees and transcripts of foreign students returning to their own countries; and papers carrying seals of other federal agencies or the seals of the 50 states). Walk-in service: 8 a.m.- noon, Mon.-Fri.; limit of 15 documents per person per day. Call (202) 647-5002 for recorded information. Inquiries may be faxed to: (202) 647-2370. The mailing address is Authentication Office, 2400 M Street NW, Room 101, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520. (###) Internet, On-Line, and Fax Information Resources On Internet: Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN) DOSFAN provides immediate, global access to official U.S. foreign policy information on the Internet. Of interest to international businesses, journalists, researchers, students, and the general public, DOSFAN is accessible by: Gopher: dosfan.lib.uic.edu URL: gopher://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/ WWW: http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/dosfan.html Content. DOSFAN provides insight into U.S. foreign policy decision- making. Updated daily, DOSFAN includes country- and issue-specific information on socio-political situations, economic trends, democracy, human rights, culture, development assistance, environment, terrorism, and more. Speeches, statements, and testimony by the President, Secretary of State, and other senior officials are featured as well as Dispatch, Background Notes, and other official publications; congressional reports; transcripts of daily press briefings; and much more. Contact. DOSFAN is a cooperative effort between the Office of Public Communication, Bureau of Public Affairs, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. For more information on accessing DOSFAN, contact Project Coordinator John Shuler by e-mail at email@example.com. or call (312) 996-2738. Other Electronic Resources. The Federal Bulletin Board Service (BBS)-- available by modem at (202) 512-1387--is a U.S. Government Printing Office electronic bulletin board which carries a complete collection of official, timely U.S. foreign policy information. For information and prices, call: (202) 512-1530. Fax-on-Demand This automated 24-hour fax service provides rapid access to general State Department information--speeches, briefings, testimony, fact sheets, special reports, and more. Fax-on-Demand is accessible by any fax machine equipped with a touch-tone telephone. To access, dial: (202) 736-7720 from the telephone handset attached to the fax machine and follow the recorded prompts to request retrieval of any document by its three-digit identification number. For more information, contact the Public Information Division, Bureau of Public Affairs at (202) 647-6575. Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB) and Fax Consular Information Sheets, Travel Warnings, and other travel-related publications are provided free on the CABB by the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs. The CABB also carries international security information from the Overseas Security Advisory Council and the Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Access is free of charge to anyone with a personal computer, modem, telecommunications software, and telephone line. The number to call is (202) 647-9225. In addition, an automated fax line speeds up access to important travel information; call: (202) 647-3000 from the handset of your fax and follow the prompts. For further information, contact the Bureau of Consular Affairs at (202) 647-1488. (###) Support for U.S. Business at Home and Abroad Coordinating Business Affairs The Office of the Coordinator of Business Affairs (CBA) plays a major role in coordinating trade and investment matters for U.S. firms doing business overseas. The Coordinator is an advisor to the Secretary of State and senior Department officials and coordinates and facilitates the Department's out-reach to, and interaction with, the U.S. business community. Established as part of Secretary Christopher's "America Desk" initiative, the CBA ensures that appropriate U.S. business interests are taken into account in the foreign policy process. It coordinates State Department advocacy on behalf of American businesses and offers them problem-solving assistance in opening markets, leveling playing fields, and resolving trade and investment disputes. The office develops and implements internal policies, procedures, and training to enhance the Department's ongoing support for American businesses. It coordinates with the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service of the Department of Commerce to support posts where the State Department has primary responsibility for trade promotion and commercial services. For more information about the Department of State's business services, contact the Coordinator for Business Affairs at (202) 647-1625 (telephone) or (202) 647-3953 (fax). International Business On-Line International business information is featured on the Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN) on the Internet. Access is by Internet gopher: dosfan.lib.uic.edu (see box, p.1). The Department of State also contributes timely foreign economic analyses, publications, and major reports to the Department of Commerce's National Trade Data Bank (NTDB), available on CD-ROM and Internet (gopher.stat-usa.gov). For information, call: (202) 482-1986. (###) Traveling Abroad? U.S. Department of State Resources Help Make Your International Trip a Success Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets Travel Warnings are issued when the Department of State recommends that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Consular Information Sheets exist for all countries and include information on immigration practices, currency regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and security information, political disturbances, and the addresses of U.S. embassies and consulates in the country. Free copies of this information are available from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs; call: (202) 647-5225; or by auto fax: (202) 647-3000. Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets also are available on the Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB) via computer modem at (202) 647-9225. Publications Concise pamphlets packed with practical travel tips are available for $1.00-1.25 each from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954; telephone: 202-512-1800; fax: (202) 512-2250. Publications also are available on the CABB (see above), and on the Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN) on the Internet (dosfan.lib.uic.edu). They include: -- A Safe Trip Abroad--ways to avoid crime and minimize terrorism threats to you, plus general safety tips; -- Tips for Americans Residing Abroad--details on voting, tax regulations, dual citizenship, and other subjects for Americans living in foreign countries; -- Travel Tips for Older Americans--health, safety, and travel news from the senior citizen perspective; -- Your Trip Abroad--how to obtain a passport, health considerations, and more; -- Tips for Travelers--safe travel tips to the Caribbean, Central and South America, China, Russia, Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. -- Passports: Applying for Them the Easy Way and Foreign Entry Requirements are available for 50› each from the Consumer Information Center, Pueblo, CO 81009. (###)
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