Spring is coming early in 3/4 of national parks, according to a new study. Awesome? Not so much. As flowers bloom earlier every year, it’s disrupting the link between the wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies that feed on and pollinate the flowers. In Shenandoah, an earlier spring is giving invasive plants a head start, and they’re displacing native wildflowers, leading to costly management issues.
Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
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.
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. 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.
Please make an appointment for an in-person or phone consultation using the below icons. Alternatively, messages can be sent to staff via telephone at 202-208-5292.
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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 provided to the Director of the 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 where DOI employees may need to temporarily store their official passport in their own office according to safekeeping protocols. For those DOI employees who wish to obtain such permission, please complete a Passport Safekeeping Memo to document the need and forward it to the OIA Passports and Visas 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.