A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The Passport and Visa Division of the DOI Office of International Affairs (OIA) assists DOI employees (except Bureau of Reclamation and USGS employees) in obtaining the official passports and visas required to undertake official international travel for the Department of the Interior.Additionally, in conformance with Department of State policy and guidance, the OIA Passport and Visa Division securely maintains and stores official passports/visas until needed for official foreign travel. As necessary, the OIA Passport and Visa Division communicates with foreign embassies and the Department of State to ensure that DOI employees have all the necessary documents to successfully complete their travel. Staff at the OIA Passports and Visas Division can be contacted by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 202-208-5292.
Please be aware that both DOI and State Department policy require that DOI employees use an official passport when undertaking international travel to conduct official DOI business. An official passport signifies that the bearer is traveling abroad on official government business. In an emergency or crisis situation, a government employee carrying an official passport will receive quicker access and priority treatment from both the U.S. embassy and the foreign government.
In order to comply with the lead times currently imposed by the Department of State, DOI travelers should provide the information requested on the Passport Request Form (see link below) and forward it to the OIA Passport and Visa Division at least six weeks prior to the proposed travel date. The OIA Passport and Visa Division will then provide the traveler with the necessary guidance and instructions to apply for an Official Passport as early as possible. As soon as they know of planned official foreign travel, DOI travelers can alert the Passport and Visa Division by providing a copy of a draft DI-1175 form, travel authorization, or similar information.
With respect to official visas, visa requirements vary from country to country but an official visa can usually be processed within two weeks of receipt of the visa application package by the Passport and Visa Division. Travelers should be aware that the two weeks needed to process an official visa application are in addition to the six weeks currently required by the State Department to process an official passport application. Moreover, if multiple visas will be required, DOI travelers should assume a period of two weeks to process each visa application.
To process a visa application, DOI employees should provide the OIA Passport and Visa Division with a copy of their DI-1175 form in addition to a completed Passport Request Form. It is not necessary to provide a final/signed DI-1175 to begin this process - a copy of a DI-1175 without final signature or approval is acceptable.
The OIA Passport and Visa Division recognizes there may be instances of frequent official foreign travel by DOI employees who may need to store their official passport more locally for a time because they are considered "Frequent Travelers."Frequent Travelers are considered by the DOI Office of International Affairs to be employees who travel a minimum of 4-6 trips within a six-month period to Canada, Mexicoor a U.S. Trust Territory."For those DOI employees meeting these criteria, please complete a Passport Safekeeping Memo (see link below) and forward it to the OIA Passport and Visa Division.
Important Note:For each official trip, an approved Travel Authorization (or DI-1175) must be provided as soon as possible to the Passport and Visa Division prior to travel departure. This documentation will be added to the employee's file folder.
When not in use for official travel, the official passport must always be securely stored in either a locked fireproof file cabinet or in a fireproof safe located in a locked Department or Bureau office. Once the period of frequent or emergency foreign travel has been completed, the employee must return the official passport to the OIA Passport and Visa Division within two weeks.