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The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released online from January 1, 1997 to January 20, 2001. Please see www.state.gov for current material from the Department of State. Or visit http://2001-2009.state.gov for information from that period. Archive sites are not updated, so external links may no longer function. Contact us with any questions about finding information. NOTE: External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.
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U.S. Department of State:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Web Use and Updates | Addresses/Contact Info |
Passports, Visas, and Emergency Services Overseas | Careers and Internships |
Business Help | Language Course Books | Tours | Publications


Q: How do I use the State Department web site?

A. See our Guide for New Users. Our best tips are:
  • Use our index to find topics. The index appears at the top right of the web page throughout the site. As in a hard copy book, key topics appear in alphabetical order and are cross-referenced.
  • Use search to find topics. Try our helpful hints before using the search function.
  • Moving around the site: To get from one section to another, click on the section that you want in the banner at the top of the page. The section that you are in will appear in the full circle at the far left. Click on "The Secretary of State" or "archive," etc., in the top banner to go directly to those sections of the web.

Q. How often are the web pages updated?

A. Material on the web is provided by bureaus and offices throughout the State Department and is updated at various times depending upon production schedules. Following is an indication of the updates of some key material:
  • The Office of Public Communication, Bureau of Public Affairs (PA/PC), uploads the text of Department press briefing as released by the Press Office on the same day as the briefing. Audio of these press briefings is available in real time. All remarks and briefings by the Secretary of State are released on the web soon after delivery.
  • Remarks by other senior Department officials are uploaded when an electronic copy is provided by the officials' bureaus/offices.
  • Travel advisories are uploaded to the web by the public affairs office of the Consular Affairs Bureau. It updates the Consular Affairs web site immediately upon receipt of new information. For more information on updates, email the Consular Affairs Bureau at ca@his.com.
  • Per diem rates are released by the Office of Allowances, Bureau of Administration, near the end of each month.
  • The web listing of State Department phone numbers is updated about two times per year. Other contact information is updated on various production schedules. For example, the subscription publication, "Key Officers of Foreign Services Posts: Guide for Business Representatives," is updated twice per year by the Bureau of Administration (A/IM/CST/MMS). Information released by A/IM/CST/MMS is posted on the web as soon as an electronic file is received by PA/PC.
  • Background Notes are updated by desk officers in each regional bureau and released on the web soon after receipt by the Bureau of Public Affairs. Update schedules for Notes vary widely from one regional bureau to another.



Q: What is the US State Department's main postal address?

A. U.S. Department of State
     2201 C Street, NW
     Washington, D.C. 20520
     Tel: 202-647-4000 (24-hour service)

Also see our visitor information on the web site.

Q: What address should I use to send a foreign policy question or opinion to the State Department or to ask a question about foreign policy information?
A. Please email the Bureau of Public Affairs at AskPublicAffairs@state.gov or write/phone:

Public Information, Rm. 6808
Bureau of Public Affairs
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520-6810
Tel: 202-647-6575 (between 9:00 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. EST)

The Bureau of Public Affairs also responds on behalf of the Secretary to all emails sent to the Secretary at secretary.state.gov.

Q: What is the Secretary of State's address and public fax number?
A. Secretary of State
     U.S. State Department
     Washington, DC 20520
     Fax: 202-261-8577

Q: How do I find phone numbers of State Department employees?

A. Phone numbers of individual employees within the State Department are available on the web.

The State Department's main number is 202-647-4000. If you are looking for someone in the Foreign Service, you also may want to contact the Foreign Service Lounge at 202-647-3432 or write:

Foreign Service Lounge
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520

Q: Where can I find a directory of email addresses for State Department employees?
A. The Bureau of Information Resource Management, which administers the Department's email system, currently does not release a directory of email addresses. To locate email addresses for employees or to determine what has happened to email addresses that no longer work, you will need to call employees (central locator number is 202-647-4000) and ask them to provide their email address. For embassies, see contact information below. (Note that many State Department offices and posts do not communicate with the public via email.)

Q: What are the addresses and phone/fax numbers for overseas posts?

A. The State Department's Bureau of Administration publishes these biannually in Key Officers of Foreign Service Posts: Guide for Business Representatives, which appears on the web as soon as an electronic file is received. If an email address is available, it will be included in this publication.

Q. Where can I find web sites for U.S. embassies overseas and other missions?

A. Please see our listing of posts which have web sites available.

Q: I would like to invite a State Department official to speak to my organization. Whom would I contact?

A. Contact the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Liaison:

Office of Public and Intergovernmental Liaison
Bureau of Public Affairs
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520-6810
Tel: 202-647-5171

For more information on Bureau of Public Affairs activities, see our Guide to Information and Services.



Q: How do I send an urgent request for help or information?

A. Please call the numbers below; do not email urgent requests.

Q: I need urgent help with an emergency overseas. What should I do?

A. Call the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Overseas Citizen Services (OCS) 24-hour travelers' hotline: 202-647-5225. For emergencies during OCS working hours (from 8:15 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST), Monday-Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday), call 202-647-5225. For emergencies after OCS working hours, call 202-647-4000 (ask for the OCS duty officer).
Q: How do I get a passport or visa?
A. See the Bureau of Consular Affair's web site for passport and visa information. For status of your passport, call 1-900-225-5674 or TDD: 1-900-255-7778 (there is a charge for this service; see "Passport Services" in our information and services guide.) For visa services, call 202-663-1225 or email usvisa@state.gov.



Q: What information is available on careers or internships at the State Department?

A. All information on careers in the Civil and Foreign Services as well as on internships at the State Department is available on our extensive web pages on careers. The email address in the Bureau of Personnel is: careers@state.gov

Q: Where can I find information on Fulbright Scholarships?
A. For information on Fulbright Scholarships, please see the web site Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, or call at 202-619-4360.

Q: What other educational exchanges are available?

A. Please see the web site for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, or call 202-619-4360.



Q: Where can I obtain information to help me with creating a business overseas or exporting?

A. Contact the Office of the Coordinator for Business Affairs at state.business@erols.com or call 202-647-1625. Also see our web page for business services.



Q: How can I find information on tours of the Department of State diplomatic reception rooms?

A. Tours are by reservation only up to 90 days in advance. Call or write the Department's tour office at:

Tour Office
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
Ph: 202-647-3241
TDD: 202-736-4474

For a sneak preview, take a virtual tour of reception rooms on our web site.



Q: How do I order hard copies of U.S. State Department publications?

A. The U.S. Government Printing Office sells a number of subscriptions to recurring State Department publications, such as Background Notes, the Department's foreign policy magazine (Dispatch) and its magazine for employees (State). Please check with GPO for availability of publications. The postal address is:

Superintendent of Documents
PO Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954

You may also contact them by phone (202-512-1800 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST) or fax (202-512-2250). Also see State Department publications on the web site. For more information, email us at AskPublicAffairs@state.gov.

Q: Where can I obtain language course books prepared by the State Department's Foreign Service Institute?
A. Call the National Technical Information Service at 1-800-553-6847.

Q: Where do I find information on treaties?

A: "Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States in Force" is available in hard copy as a subscription from the Government Printing Office and on the web. Current Treaty Actions also are available on the web. For more information, contact the Office of the Legal Adviser:

Office of the Legal Adviser
Treaty Affairs
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520

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