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Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA)PDFReturn
This section identifies the United States government agencies and departments that the exchange visitors may interact with throughout their BridgeUSA J-1 EVP program.
The Bureau of Consular Affairs is a bureau of the US Department of State. Its responsibilities include strengthening US border security, providing passport services, assisting and protecting US citizens abroad, facilitating legitimate travel to the US, and more. Incoming exchange visitors apply for their J-1 visa at a nearby US consulate or embassy and attends an interview given by a consular officer who will determine whether to grant a J-1 visa.
US embassies and consulates are operated by the Bureau of Consular Affairs. They are generally located in the capital city of the host country, though larger countries may have branches or consulates in other cities. Each consulate is led by a “consul general”, reporting to the “ambassador” of the US embassy.

Functions. The primary purpose of an embassy is to assist American citizens who travel to or live in the host country.

• Protect the US borders through the proper adjudication of visas to foreign nationals and passports to American citizens
• Adjudicate immigrant and non-immigrant visas
• Make judgments about foreign nationals who want to travel to the United States
• Facilitate adoptions
• Help evacuate Americans in case of a disaster
• Combat fraud and fight human trafficking

Visa applications. Individuals who work there are called the Foreign Service Officers who also interview citizens of the host country who wish to travel to the United States for business, education, or tourism purposes. Depending on the location, prospective exchange visitors can visit a nearby US embassy or consulate abroad to apply for a visa to enter the US.

• To locate US embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions in different countries, check out

• The bureau runs Travel.State.Gov, a website that provides useful information (e.g., application instructions for visa applicants, passport information, travel warnings and alerts) to travelers

• Consular officers, one of the five types of Foreign Service Officers, are US citizens employed by the DOS to work as the front-line personnel of US embassies and consulates around the world; theys are trained to assess the general situation presented by each applicant during the visa interview, handle each visa application as an individual case, and issue visas to qualified applicants.
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