Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
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.
Staff at the OIA Passports and Visas Division can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by telephone at 202-208-5292. Additionally, you can make an appointment for an in-person or phone consultation using the below icons:
Passports and Visas
The Department of State and foreign embassies set deadlines which drive how much time it takes to process official passports and visas. In order to comply with these lead times, DOI employees should provide the information requested on the Official Passport and Visa Request Form and securely fax or mail it along with a draft DI-1175 form, travel authorization, or similar information, to the OIA Passport and Visa Division (see below), as soon as theyknow they will need to travel internationally, and in all cases at least eight weeks prior to the departure date. Within two business days, the OIA Passport and Visa Division will provide the traveler with the necessary guidance and instructions to apply for an official passport and/or visa, based on the traveler’s employment status and destination(s), among other factors. Please note that travelers seeking to obtain official passports will need to submit a current SF 50 and two passport photos with their application, and those who need visas may need an additional two to four passport photos for each visa application. Please note that it may take six to eight weeks to obtain an official passport and up to two weeks for each visa once all completed applications are submitted by the traveler to the Passports and Visas Division. Any completed applications submitted less than six weeks before departure for an official passport and/or less than two weeks for each visa will need to be accompanied by a justification memo, sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, to the attention of the Director, Office of International Affairs, explaining the urgency of the pending travel. Even with this memo, please be advised that it might not be possible to process the official passport and/or visa for the traveler in the timeframe they seek
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 aPassport Safekeeping Memo 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.