Faculty & Staff
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Incoming Exchange Students
There are U.S. Embassies in more than 160 capital cities around the world. Each embassy has a consular section, which do two things: 1) issue visas to foreigners and 2) help U.S. citizens abroad.
Register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if you will be in a country for a month or more, or if you are visiting a country where there is political or economic unrest. This makes it easier for staff there to reach you in an emergency or to replace a lost passport.
Remember that, in a disaster, consuls face the same constraints you do: lack of electricity or fuel, interrupted phone lines and closed airports.
What a consular officer cannot do
Consular officers cannot act as travel agents, banks, lawyers, investigators or law enforcement officers. Do not expect them to find employment for you, get you residence or driving permits, act as interpreters, search for missing luggage or settle disputes with hotel managers. They can, however, tell you how to get help on these and other matters.
As a general rule, consular officers may not reveal information regarding an individual American's location, welfare, intentions, or problems to anyone, including family members and Congressional representatives, without the expressed consent of that individual. Although sympathetic to the distress this can cause for concerned families, consular officers must comply with the provisions of the Privacy Act.
Information based on the Department of State Publication 10176, June 1994.